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Safeguarding Our Children: An Action Guide Implementing Early Warning, Timely Response

Organizations Supporting This Guide American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry American Academy of Pediatrics American Association of School Administrators American Counseling Association American Federation of Teachers American Psychiatric Association American Psychological Association American School Counselor Association Council of Administrators of Special Education Council for Exceptional Children Council of the Great City Schools Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health National Alliance of Pupil Services Organizations National Association of Elementary School Principals National Association of School Nurses National Association of School Psychologists National Association of Secondary School Principals National Association of Social Workers National Education Association National Mental Health Association National Middle School Association National Parent Network on Disabilities National PTA National School Boards Association National School Public Relations Association School Social Work Association of America U.S. Department of Education Richard W. Riley, Secretary Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Office of Special Education Programs Research to Practice Division Louis C. Danielson, Director Office of Elementary and Secondary Education Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program William Modzeleski, Director U.S. Department of Justice Janet Reno, Attorney General Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention John C. Wilson, Acting Administrator April 2000

This guide was produced by the Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice of the American Institutes for Research, and the National Association for School Psychologists under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Office of Special Education Programs (Grant # H327T60005), under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, and Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program provided additional support under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the Gun-Free Schools Act. The text of this document is in the public domain. Authorization to reproduce this document in whole or in part is granted. While permission to reprint this publication is not necessary, the citation should be Dwyer, K. and Osher, D. (2000). Safeguarding Our Children: An Action Guide. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Departments of Education and Justice, American Institutes for Research. To order copies of this report, contact ED Pubs: Mail: ED Pubs, Editorial Publications Center, U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398 Fax: 301-470-1244 E-mail: ED Pubs Website: Call toll-free: 877-433-7827 (877-4-ED-PUBS). If 877 service is not yet available in your area, call 800-872-5327 (800-USA-LEARN). Safeguarding Our Children: An Action Guide is available on the Department of Education's Web site at You also may obtain additional contacts and related information from agency Web sites. For the Office of Special Education Programs, visit For Safe and Drug-Free Schools, visit And for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, visit Those who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a teletypewriter (TTY) should call 800-437-0833. On request, this publication is available in alternative formats, such as Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette. For more information, please contact the Department's Alternate Format Center at 202-260-9895 or 202-205-8113. Notice: This document contains contact addresses and Web sites for information created and maintained by other public and private organizations. This information is provided for the reader's convenience. The U.S. Department of Education does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of this outside information. Further, the inclusion of information or addresses or Web sites for particular items does not reflect their importance, nor is it intended to endorse any views expressed, or products or services offered.

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION WASHINGTON, D.C. 20202-_____ April 21, 2000 Dear Principals, Teachers, Mental Health Professionals, and Families: In 1998, at the request of President Clinton, the U.S. Department of Education and

the Department of Justice produced Early Warning, Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools (the Early Warning Guide) to help communities make schools even safer in the future than they are today. The Early Warning Guide was designed to provide research-based, practical help needed to "keep every child in your school out of harm's way." We are pleased by the positive feedback on the Early Warning Guide and by the many schools already implementing recommendations included in the guide. Since releasing the Early Warning Guide, we have received numerous requests for a follow-up resource that provides additional information about the "how to" of developing school safety plans. In response, we have developed Safeguarding Our Children: An Action Guide. The Action Guide provides practical steps schools can take to design and implement school safety plans to reduce violence in our schools and help children get access to the services they need. It stresses the importance of a three-stage, comprehensive model that includes prevention, early intervention, and intensive services to address school safety issues. The guide also emphasizes the importance of strategic planning, capacity building, comprehensive approaches, teamwork, and community involvement in successful schools. The strategies presented in the Action Guide are based on research that has demonstrated the value of prevention and of comprehensive approaches to school safety that involve the entire education community--principals, teachers, counselors, parents, and students. We hope that you will find the examples of programs and practices provided throughout this Action Guide useful as you examine the needs of your school and community. However, we caution you that using this guide in a cursory way to stigmatize children will be counterproductive and harmful. We are grateful to the many experts, agencies, and associations in education, law enforcement, juvenile justice, mental health, and other social services that reviewed drafts, provided examples and otherwise contributed to the quality of this publication. We hope that your school and community will benefit from the information provided in the Action Guide. Sincerely, Richard W. Riley Secretary of Education Janet Reno Attorney General

CONTENTS (Note: Page numbers refer to printed and Adobe Acrobat versions only) Letter from Secretary Riley and Attorney General Renoi Chapter 1: Introduction 1 Overview of the Action Guide 2 A Comprehensive Three-Level Approach to Prevention 2 Schoolwide Foundation 2 Early Intervention 4 Intensive Interventions 4 Safe Schools Combine All Three Levels 4 Safe Schools Employ Teams Efficiently and Effectively5

Safe Schools Have the Capacity to Plan, Implement, Monitor, and Evaluate a Prevention and Intervention Plan 5 Safe Schools Have the Capacity to Identify and to Respond to Individual Needs 6 Chapter 2: Building A Schoolwide Foundation 7 Creating a Caring School Community in Which All Members Feel Connected, Safe, and Supported 7 Teaching Appropriate Behaviors and Social Problem-Solving Skills 8 Staff Training 10 Staff Support and Coordination 10 Monitoring the Program 10 Positive Behavior Support Systems 11 Establishing Schoolwide Systems to Manage and Support Behavior 11 Creating a Safe Physical Environment 14 Providing Appropriate Academic Instruction 15 Chapter 3: Responding To Children Exhibiting Early Warning Signs: Early Intervention 17 Review of the Early Warning Signs of Violence 17 Building the Capacity to Identify Early Warning Signs18 Connecting the Early Warning Signs to Early Intervention: Developing a Referral Response Process 19 Referral 20 Involving Students in the Referral Process 20 Responding to Referrals 22 The Initial Meeting 22 Developing Early Interventions 24 Problem Identification and Analysis 24 Plan Development, Implementation, and Evaluation 25 Early Intervention Strategies 27 Chapter 4: Providing Intensive Interventions To Troubled Students Comprehensive School-Based Mental Health Programs 31 Special Education and Related Services 32 Alternative Programs and Schools 33 Systems of Care 33 Individualized Mental Health Services and Supports 35 Multisystemic Therapy 36 Treatment Foster Care 37 Wraparound Planning and Services 38 Chapter 5: Creating And Implementing A Comprehensive Plan The Role of the Schoolwide Team in Creating Safe Schools Organizing the Schoolwide Team 42 Community Members and the Schoolwide Team 42 Building an Effective Schoolwide Team 43 Logistics for the Schoolwide Team 44 Obtaining Approval and Buy-Ins 44 Securing a Planning Budget 44 Designing a Communication Process 44 Scheduling Meetings and Setting Timelines 45 Implementation Considerations for the Schoolwide Team46 Other Considerations 47 Conclusion 48 41 41 31



Online Resources 49 School Safety-Related Sites 49 Student Support and Classroom Management Sites 49 Federal Sites 50 Organization Sites 51 Family Information Sites 52 Additional Resources Index 57 Contributors to the Action Guide 59 53

Chapter 1: Introduction Schools are almost always safe places. Even so, recent school shootings created a widespread demand to improve school safety. In 1998, President Clinton directed the departments of Education and Justice to develop a guide to help "adults reach out to troubled children, quickly and effectively." The result was Early Warning, Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools* (also called the Early Warning Guide). Attorney General Janet Reno and Secretary of Education Richard Riley said the guide "should be seen as part of an overall effort to make sure that every school in this nation has a comprehensive violence prevention plan in place." The Early Warning Guide has been copied, downloaded, reprinted, and distributed to agencies, organizations, and every school across the nation. The Early Warning Guide is a good example of effective collaboration between federal agencies, national associations, and researchers from various disciplines, as well as practitioners, family members, and youth. Hundreds of people worked together to design, develop, review, and disseminate the research-based and practice-validated Early Warning Guide. In fact, the Early Warning Guide was so well-received that the departments of Education and Justice decided to develop a companion piece-Safeguarding Our Children: An Action Guide (or the Action Guide). The purpose of this Action Guide is to help schools develop and implement a comprehensive violence prevention plan grounded in the principles of the Early Warning Guide. This Action Guide is based on evidence-based practices. Effective action plans are strategic, coordinated, and comprehensive. They involve schoolwide prevention, early intervention, and intensive services for students with significant emotional or behavioral needs, including those with disruptive, destructive, or violent behaviors. Prevention, early intervention, and intensive services can reduce violence and other troubling behaviors in schools. Understanding the causes of violence and knowledge of evidence-based practices can help schools identify and address warning signs early so children can get the help they need before it is too late. The most promising prevention and intervention strategies extend beyond the schoolhouse door; they include administrators, teachers, families, students, support staff, and community agency staff. Everyone's support is important to safeguard our children. * Dwyer, K., Osher, D., and Warger, C. (1998). Early Warning, Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education. Quotations

on this page are from page i of the Early Warning Guide. English, Spanish, and referenced versions of the Early Warning Guide are available at Schools that have comprehensive violence prevention and response plans in place, plus teams to design and implement those plans, report the following positive results: * Improved academics. * Reduced disciplinary referrals and suspensions. * Improved school climate that is more conducive to learning. * Better staff morale. * More efficient use of human and financial resources. * Enhanced safety. Overview of the Action Guide School violence occurs in a unique context in every school, making a one-sizefits-all approach ineffective. This Action Guide helps schools develop and carry out a violence prevention and response plan that can be customized to fit each school's particular strengths. The plan includes the following: * Identifying and understanding the problem of school violence and its relationship to school climate. * * * Building a schoolwide foundation that prevents most problems from occurring. Recognizing, reporting, and using the early warning signs effectively. Developing interventions to respond to students with troubling behaviors.

Building a comprehensive plan takes time and requires input from students, staff, agencies, families, and other community members. This Action Guide presents strategies that schools have used successfully to create and implement these plans. The Action Guide provides examples of sound practices and programs and offers suggestions on what to look for and what to do. Qualities of Safe and Responsible Schools * The school has strong leadership, caring faculty, family and community involvement, including law enforcement officials and representatives of communitybased organizations and student participation in the design of programs and policies. * The physical environment of the school is safe and schoolwide policies are in place to promote and support responsible behaviors. * Prevention and intervention programs are sustained, coordinated, and comprehensive. * Interventions are based on careful assessment of student needs. * Evidence-based approaches are used.

* Staff are provided with training and support to help them implement programs and approaches. * Interventions are monitored and evaluations are conducted to ensure that the programs are meeting measurable goals and objectives. A Comprehensive Three-Level Approach to Prevention Research on safe schools demonstrates that a comprehensive three-level approach to prevention is the most efficient and cost-effective way to reduce the risk of violence. A Three-Level Approach to Preventing Violence: * Provide Intensive Interventions for a Few Children * Intervene Early for Some Children * Build a Schoolwide Foundation for All Children Build a Support through solving Schoolwide Foundation positive discipline, academic success, and mental and emotional wellness a caring school environment, teaching appropriate behaviors and problem skills, positive behavioral support and appropriate academic instruction.

Intervene Early Create services and supports that address risk factors and build protective factors for students at risk for severe academic or behavioral difficulties. Provide Intensive Interventions Provide coordinated, comprehensive, intensive, sustained, culturally appropriate, child-and family-focused services and supports. Schoolwide Foundation An effective schoolwide foundation is designed to improve the academic performance and behavior of all children. The schoolwide foundation includes the following: * Compassionate, caring, respectful staff who model appropriate behaviors, create a climate of emotional support, and are committed to working with all students. * Developmentally appropriate programs for all children that teach and reinforce social and problem-solving skills. * Teachers and staff who are trained to support positive school and classroom behaviors. * Engaging curricula and effective teaching practices. * Child- and family-focused, culturally competent approaches. * Collaborative relationships with families, agencies, and community organizations. These approaches alone are sufficient for most students' needs, but they will not address fully the needs of all students. However, an effective foundation makes it easier to identify students who require additional interventions and increases the

effectiveness of all interventions--both early and intensive. Chapter 2 describes the schoolwide foundation. Early Intervention Early intervention is necessary for those students who are at risk of academic failure or behavior problems. Early intervention, along with an appropriate foundation, is sufficient for almost all students. Chapter 3 describes early intervention and how it can be used to respond to early warning signs. Intensive Interventions Intensive interventions are necessary for those students whose needs cannot be fully addressed by early intervention. Intensive interventions should always be individualized to a student's needs and strengths. These interventions often involve multiple coordinated services, such as individualized special education services or interagency wraparound supports. Chapter 4 describes intensive interventions. No plan will make a school immune to violence. Nevertheless, having a violence prevention and response plan in place reduces the likelihood of violence and helps schools respond quickly and effectively to violent incidents that may occur. Safe Schools Combine All Three Levels For a school to be safe for all children, all three levels must be in place. A school that builds a schoolwide foundation will still fail if it ignores the needs of children at risk of severe academic or behavioral problems or children who are seriously troubled. In most schools, a schoolwide foundation will meet the needs of most students, while early intervention will address the needs of most of the other students. Individualized intensive interventions will be needed for a relatively small number of students. Safe Schools Employ Teams Efficiently and Effectively Each day, school personnel make important decisions about how to implement the best educational program for the entire school and how to provide the best education possible for specific students who may be experiencing difficulties. Employing Teams Efficiently Schools are often burdened by too many teams, committees, or workgroups that affect staff time and result in fragmented efforts. When possible, the Schoolwide Team and the Student Support Team should be an expansion or refinement of existing teams. Also, these two teams should coordinate their efforts with all teams addressing similar issues. While this coordination may increase the workload of some teams at first, it will improve their long-term effectiveness. Effective schools usually form a small number of teams composed of professionals and support personnel who are responsible for these decisions. This Action Guide recommends that schools employ two teams: one that addresses overall school performance and another that addresses individual student problems. These teams are integral to creating and implementing a comprehensive plan for safe and effective schools. A minimum of three people--the principal, a teacher, and a mental health specialist--should serve on both teams. This Action Guide will refer to the first team as the Schoolwide Team, and the second as the Student Support Team. Although schools may use other titles for their teams, almost every school has

them. The Schoolwide Team is sometimes called the School Management Team or School Improvement Team. The Student Support Team may be known as The Child Study Team or the Student Assistance Team. While the primary functions of these two teams are different, both teams are necessary to create safe, educationally sound learning environments. The teams have different responsibilities, but coordination is necessary. To facilitate this coordination, the teams should have a number of members in common, such as the principal, a teacher, and the school's mental health professional. A dynamic, collaborative relationship, in which knowledge and information are continuously shared, will help ensure that the schoolwide, early, and intensive interventions are aligned to meet the goals of a safe and effective school. Linkage Between Schoolwide and Student Support Teams Schoolwide Team School staff, parents, students, community agencies, law enforcement, & other stakeholders Principal Teacher Mental Health Professional Student Support Team Family, classroom teachers, agency providers, special educators, students, & others Safe Schools Have the Capacity to Plan, Implement, Monitor, and Evaluate a Prevention and Intervention Plan Safe schools are strategic and smart. They identify and assess their needs and strengths, determine their safe school goals and objectives, align their efforts with other school reform and community initiatives, select and implement evidencebased approaches to realize these goals and objectives, coordinate and monitor their implementation, and evaluate the effect of their interventions. These responsibilities require team members who have the appropriate expertise, credibility with relevant stakeholders, access to resources, and authority to act. The Schoolwide Team should have expertise and credibility in the following seven areas: * Prevention, early intervention, and intensive intervention. * School reform. * Community resources. * Family concerns. * Student concerns. * Staff concerns. * Administrative concerns. Chapter 5 describes the role of this team.

Safe Schools Have the Capacity to Identify and to Respond to Individual Needs Safe schools have Student Support Teams to assess the needs of children who exhibit early warning signs. Members of this team should have the professional, cultural, and linguistic competence to identify the students' needs and strengths. These teams should have expertise in the following six areas: * Diagnosing mental health problems. * Evaluating academic difficulties. * Conducting a functional assessment of student behavior to determine the "why" behind a behavioral problem or incident. * Consulting with and supporting school staff, students, and families. * Coordinating school and community services. * Collaborating with students and families. To be most effective, the Student Support Team should involve the student and his or her family in its deliberations. If the student is being considered or is eligible for special education services, requirements for individualized planning under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) must be met. Also, the team is more effective when regular and special educators collaborate. If the student receives services from other community agencies, the team should coordinate with those agencies (e.g., child welfare, juvenile justice, mental health, vocational rehabilitation, and substance abuse). The role of the Student Support Team is described further in Chapter 3.

Chapter 2: Building a Schoolwide Foundation Some students will learn and behave appropriately in almost any school environment. Other students, however, require some level of support to help them realize high academic and behavioral standards. A schoolwide foundation provides all students with the supports and skills they need to become effective learners and problem solvers. In addition, the foundation provides students and staff with the supports and skills they need to develop and foster appropriate behaviors and healthy emotional adjustment. Research at the University of Oregon's Institute on Violent and Destructive Behavior suggests that most schools with effective schoolwide systems that focus on learning and behavior can prevent at least 80 percent of problematic student behaviors. A comprehensive schoolwide foundation should help ensure that a school is safe and responsive to all children. The Early Warning Guide identified 13 characteristics as being essential to such a safe and responsive school. This chapter describes the following four key components of a comprehensive, effective schoolwide plan that can be used to prevent school violence: * Creating a caring school community in which all members feel connected, safe, and supported. * Teaching appropriate behaviors and social problem-solving skills.

* Implementing positive behavior support systems. * Providing appropriate academic instruction. Characteristics of a School That Is Safe and Responsive to All Children * Focus on academic achievement. * Involve families in meaningful ways. * Develop links to the community. * Emphasize positive relationships among students and staff. * Discuss safety issues openly. * Treat students with equal respect. * Create ways for students to share their concerns. * Help children feel safe expressing their feelings. * Have in place a system for referring children who are suspected of being abused or neglected. * Offer extended day programs for children. * Promote good citizenship and character. * Identify problems and assess progress toward solutions. * Support students in making the transition to adult life and the workplace. Creating a Caring School Community in Which All Members Feel Connected, Safe, and Supported Safe schools support caring relationships between students and staff. Establishing these relationships reduces the causes of interpersonal conflicts (e.g., prejudice) and allows students to gain a sense of belonging, pride, and attachment to the school. These feelings are an important part of keeping students engaged in the educational process and sensitive to the needs of others with whom they interact in school. Establishing these relationships between students and staff makes it more likely that students can share their safety concerns with staff and enhances the opportunities for adults to coach, mentor, and even discipline students, if necessary. Creating caring relationships is not easy--particularly in large and diverse schools. Schools can create and nurture caring environments by organizing the environment to support positive relationships (e.g., by creating small learning communities within schools). In addition, schools can develop effective programs to prevent harassment, bullying, and conflict between groups. These programs will be most effective when they align with social skills instruction, the schoolwide discipline system, and the school's curriculum. There are a variety of evidence-based programs that schools can adopt to improve their schoolwide foundation as well as to develop early and intensive interventions.

Program Evaluation Criteria There are a variety of evidence-based programs that schools can adopt to improve their schoolwide foundation, as well as to develop early and intensive interventions. A number of factors should be considered when selecting appropriate programs for your school. The program evaluation criteria below will help determine which program is best for a particular setting. * Outcome Evidence: Is there evidence that this program has worked in other school communities similar to yours? How widely used is this intervention? * Fiscal Costs: Is training required? Will materials need to be purchased separately? * Personnel and Staffing Implications: Will additional staff be required or will duties need to be expanded? * Program Outcomes with Diverse Populations: Has the program been effective with students similar to the students in your school community? * Flexibility: Can the intervention be altered to meet your unique needs? What is the likely effect of modifying the intervention? * External Support: Is it available? How much will it cost? Activities to build a school community are varied, but in general, successful community building ensures that students associate positive experiences with their interpersonal interactions in the school environment. In other words, students who are accepted, are respected, and experience interpersonal and academic success will feel good about their school experience. Numerous schoolwide activities can be developed to build a strong sense of community within the school. These activities range from the schoolwide use of an anti-bias curriculum that teaches children tolerance and to deal with prejudice to the fair and equal treatment of all students within the school building. Teaching Appropriate Behaviors and Social Problem-Solving Skills Just as students learn how to read, write, and calculate math equations, they must also learn how to interact appropriately with peers and adults and how to solve interpersonal conflicts nonviolently. A school will have an increased risk of having students who solve problems with violence if the students are not encouraged and taught to interact appropriately and to use problem-solving skills. Thus, safe schools develop interpersonal, problem-solving, and conflict resolution skills in all students. Social skills instruction is an effective way to teach appropriate behaviors and problem-solving skills to all students. Social skills can be taught either directly through structured lessons or indirectly by integrating problem-solving themes into other curricula such as social studies or reading. In either case, social skills and problem-solving activities should become a part of the daily school routine. Numerous social skills programs are available; the school should select a program that fits the culture of the school best. Many successful social skills programs teach students to develop a problem-solving language that will assist in guiding and monitoring their behavior when they encounter a difficult situation. This language and the corresponding behaviors are taught by providing students with an opportunity to see other people using good social skills successfully, practice these skills themselves, receive feedback

from the teacher and others on the use of the skills, and then try them out in real situations. It is important to develop an infrastructure to support the ongoing use of social skills programs. This infrastructure should include at least three main components: * Training all school staff in the instruction and reinforcement of social skills. * * Designating school support leaders. Monitoring and supporting the teaching of social skills.

Developing Social and Emotional Competence and Problem-Solving Skills Resolving Conflict Creatively Program* The Resolving Conflict Creatively Program (RCCP) is a school-based, primary prevention program that begins in kindergarten and continues through the 12th grade. It is one of the largest and longest-running conflict resolution initiatives in the country that is designed to promote constructive conflict resolution and positive intergroup relations. The specific objectives of the program include making children aware of the different choices they have for dealing with conflicts; helping children develop skills for making those choices; encouraging children's respect for their own cultural backgrounds and those of others; teaching children how to identify and stand against prejudice; and making children aware of their role in creating a more peaceful world. These objectives are achieved primarily through a curriculum taught by trained teachers and designed around several core skills, including communicating and listening effectively, expressing feelings and managing anger, resolving conflicts, fostering cooperation, appreciating diversity, and countering bias. The 30- to 60-minute lessons are organized into units based on these core skills and are delivered in a manner that facilitates student-directed discussions and learning. Separate curricula for lower and upper elementary school grades as well as high school enable concepts to be conveyed to children in age-appropriate ways. In addition to the classroom curriculum component, RCCP also incorporates the training of student-based peer mediation groups and administrators. The program aims to create environments in classrooms and across entire schools where opportunities for social-emotional learning are provided along with opportunities for traditional academic learning. Formal evaluation of the impact of RCCP found significant reductions in the frequency of aggressive behaviors and in the types of thinking and cognitive processing leading to aggression (e.g., hostile attributions, aggressive fantasies, and aggressive problem-solving strategies). When trained teachers employed the curriculum regularly, RCCP was found to benefit all children regardless of grade, gender, and classroom or neighborhood context. Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) is a classroom-based curriculum for kindergarten through fifth-grade students designed to prevent violence, aggression, and other problem behaviors by developing students' social and emotional competence and problem-solving skills.

The objectives of PATHS are met by teaching cognitive problem-solving skills, which improve critical thinking skills, develop effective interpersonal skills, and enhance the classroom climate. The PATHS curriculum, delivered by the classroom teacher, is divided into three separate units: self-control, feelings and relationships, and interpersonal cognitive problem-solving. The cognitive problem-solving skills that students learn in the third unit build upon and expand the skills students developed in the first two units. Students learn to understand, regulate, and express emotions. PATHS teaches students to recognize the feelings of others, to relate the experiences of others to themselves, to develop empathy for others, and to understand how the behaviors of others can affect their own emotions. The techniques used to teach these lessons include group discussion, role-playing, art activities, stories, and educational games. The PATHS curriculum provides students with extensive opportunities to practice their new skills and assistance with applying the skills in their daily life. A formal evaluation of the PATHS curriculum found significant reductions in students' hyperactivity, peer aggression, and noncompliance with teacher and staff directions. Specifically, first-grade students receiving PATHS were found to have significantly lower levels of aggression and disruptive behaviors compared with their same-age peers who did not receive the curriculum. * A variety of evidence-based programs that schools and communities can use to implement the Action Guide are listed in the "Additional Resources" section of this guide. Inclusion in the Action Guide does not represent endorsement of these programs by the U.S. Department of Education or the U.S. Department of Justice. Staff Training Programs designed to teach children new skills are most beneficial if all staff-including non-teaching staff such as custodians, cafeteria workers, and bus drivers--are involved. When new staff are hired, they also will require training. Training should be conducted by someone who is skilled in in-service training and consultation and who is familiar with social skills programs. Staff must be comfortable with and committed to teaching problem-solving skills, encouraging and reinforcing their use, and holding students responsible for using these skills. Most programs that are designed to teach students problem-solving skills are adaptable to the needs of teachers. Acquiring good teaching skills may be more difficult for non-teaching staff and, therefore, these individuals should receive adequate initial training and responsive follow-up support. Staff Support and Coordination The degree to which a new program is implemented successfully depends largely upon the support provided to those implementing the program. Someone in the school should have the skills, time, and authority to assist staff in their initial and ongoing efforts to teach and help students to use appropriate social problemsolving skills. In addition, because students may have several teachers, some coordination is necessary to ensure that teachers are consistently teaching these skills, and that all staff members are modeling and reinforcing the students' use of these skills. Monitoring the Program Support leaders should check frequently with teachers to ensure that skills are being taught consistently. Over time it will be important for the school to determine whether the program is working. Most teachers will be able to tell quickly whether students are using the social skills in class. It is important,

however, to observe whether these skills are also being used outside of class and school. Community agency staff and families can often provide this information. Second Step Curriculum Second Step is a violence prevention social skills curriculum developed by the Committee for Children. The curriculum is designed to enable children--preschool through junior high--to change the attitudes and behaviors that contribute to violence. Students make such changes through an in-class social skills curriculum that teaches students specific skills to reduce impulsive and aggressive behaviors and to increase their level of social competence. Three primary skill areas are emphasized: empathy, impulse control, and anger management. Each social skill lesson is integrated into the regular curriculum in 35-minute sessions that are conducted once or twice a week. Teachers lead a discussion, model skills, and have students role-play. The curriculum also incorporates a family-based component that employs a videobased parent program and a series of parent group meetings. Formal evaluation of the impact of the Second Step Curriculum indicated moderate decreases in aggression and moderate increases in prosocial and neutral interactions over the period of one school year for students receiving the curriculum. Furthermore, the evaluation indicated that the control group of peers who did not receive the curriculum increased their physical and verbal aggression over the same school year. Positive Behavior Support Systems Safe schools provide a social and physical environment that fosters appropriate behavior. The social environment includes the norms, rules and their enforcement, and any support necessary to enable students and adults to behave appropriately. The physical environment includes the way in which the building and the school's routines are managed to prevent problems (e.g., supervision during class changes). Establishing Schoolwide Systems to Manage and Support Behavior Effective discipline systems must be simple, schoolwide, proactive, and positive. Simplicity is important so that all members of the school--administrators, teachers, staff, students, and their families--understand the rules and what happens when people violate the rules. These rules should be schoolwide so that expectations and behavioral supports for students are consistent throughout the school. The behavioral management systems should be proactive and positive, as research demonstrates that proactive approaches (e.g., intervening before a verbal dispute escalates into a physical fight) and positive support (teaching expected behaviors) are more effective than reactive approaches that emphasize punishment. A critical component of a safe school environment is the establishment of clear guidelines for student behavior. Such guidelines should enable students to understand what behaviors adhere to or violate the school's expectations. Early in the school year, the Schoolwide Team, with input from the entire school community, should meet to establish behavior guidelines. Ideally, these basic rules of behavior should be as follows: * Stated simply and positively (e.g., "Walk" instead of "Do not run").

* Few in number so they can be memorized. * Reinforced, modeled, and enforced by the adults in the school. * Consistent with the social skills that all school staff are teaching and reinforcing. After establishing schoolwide behavioral expectations, the team should determine incentives for appropriate behavior and consequences for inappropriate behavior. These actions should be agreeable to all or most members of the school and be easy to use. An effective schoolwide management system is one in which all students know and can explain the school's expectations for behavior, as well as the incentives and consequences associated with adhering to or violating the expectations. Despite ongoing and structured encouragement of appropriate behavior, some students may commit minor infractions or exhibit major disruptive behaviors. Caring schools use positive disciplinary measures to address these instances. Positive discipline has, at a minimum, the following three important characteristics: * An explanation of why the behavior is a problem. * An explanation of which rule was violated. * The provision of opportunities to learn appropriate behaviors and to correct mistakes. Students need to understand that not all inappropriate behavior is the same and that different consequences are associated with different levels of inappropriate behavior. Safe schools should build their capacity to deal with multiple violations of the rules by developing multiple levels of consequences. These levels should be systematically followed and never short-circuited. That is, steps on the consequences ladder should not be skipped to expedite a child's removal from the school building. The exception is any major violation of school rules that endangers the life of the child or the lives of others. It is also critical that parents understand the school conduct codes and the consequences for violations. The consistent use of incentives and consequences is critical to successful management of behavior at the school level. When staff fail to adopt and implement agreed-upon procedures to encourage student use of positive behaviors, students learn that sometimes it is okay not to solve problems this way. As a result, their use of problem-solving strategies will be erratic at best. Consistency does not just happen. It is usually due to school-level strategic planning, team building, professional development, and ongoing discussion and evaluation. Consistency is further strengthened when a school's positive behavioral strategies and discipline system extend to families, support agencies, and other community groups. The important components of schoolwide management strategies also apply at the classroom level. Expectations for behavior, the use of incentives and consequences, and the consistency with which they are implemented are just as important in the classroom as anywhere else in the school building. Students should understand classroom rules, have the skills to demonstrate behaviors that will allow them to meet the rules, and understand the incentives and consequences for appropriate and inappropriate behavior. In general, classrooms that are well managed are characterized by the following conditions:

* Classroom routines are well-established and understood by all. * Teachers spend a great majority of time on academic instruction and only a minimal amount of time is required to redirect disruptive behavior. * Teacher feedback to students regarding their behavior is overwhelmingly positive. * Mechanisms are in place for students to cool off and generate solutions to problems. * Students have opportunities to practice and use the solutions that they generate. * Academic tasks match students' instructional levels. * Academic tasks are presented at an engaging and appropriate pace. * Rules and consequences are followed and applied consistently. * High expectations exist for student behavior. * Transition periods are highly structured with increased adult monitoring. In addition to developing expectations for appropriate behavior and reinforcing that behavior throughout the school, an effective schoolwide violence prevention plan includes environmental interventions designed to prevent unsafe behavior. These interventions are discussed next. Expectations for student behavior should be posted throughout the school and should be frequently reinforced by all staff. Also, the use of pictures or symbols to illustrate each expectation can be helpful for younger children and for some students with cognitive disabilities. Creating a Safe Physical Environment Inevitably, there will be special situations and special places in schools where problems are more likely to occur. To prevent such problems, changing the school environment may be necessary. These interventions alter the use of school space and supervision routines so that opportunities for violent or disruptive behavior are minimized or eliminated. An analysis of the school environment can determine if hot spots exist in the school. For example, the back hallway leading from the locker commons to the band room may be an area where many fights or disruptions occur due to minimal supervision and poor lighting. Perhaps an analysis also will show that these problems are most likely to occur in the mornings at a time when student traffic increases through the back hallway. A thorough understanding of when and where problems occur should prove invaluable to the Schoolwide Team. Some of the environmental characteristics that a school may examine include the following: * Number and types of exits. * Location and design of bathrooms. * Design of the cafeteria, common areas, and the playground.

* Patterns of supervision. * Density of traffic patterns throughout parts of the school during various times of the day. * Lighting. * Isolated areas. * Bell and class schedules and the mixing of students from different grades. * Length of time students stand in line to wait for a bus or to wait for lunch. Equipped with the above information, the Schoolwide Team will be in a position to change the environment to minimize opportunities for inappropriate behavior. By continuing to monitor and supervise all areas of the school regularly, the team can maximize environmental safety. Comprehensive Schoolwide Prevention and Intervention Programs that Provide Positive Support Project ACHIEVE Project ACHIEVE is a schoolwide, comprehensive prevention and early intervention program for students in elementary and middle schools. It emphasizes increasing student performance in social skills and conflict resolution, improving student achievement and academic progress, facilitating positive school climates, and increasing parental involvement and support. Project ACHIEVE is an integrated process that involves organizational and resource development, comprehensive in-service training, and follow-up. Project ACHIEVE begins with strategic planning which requires teachers, staff, school-based mental health professionals, students, and families to work together to adopt schoolwide systems of effective behavior management and positive skills-oriented student discipline, as well as to improve instructional practices and academic support for students. These schoolwide systems focus on teaching students prosocial skills, problemsolving methods, and anger management techniques while simultaneously training teachers, staff, and families to intervene positively when problems occur. Typically, students are taught one new skill each week that faculty and staff help them practice by prompting them at every reasonable opportunity with key phrases, such as Stop and think, Make a good choice, What are my choices, and How did I do? Project ACHIEVE is designed to reduce acts of aggression, violence, and disruptive behavior that often lead to suspensions, academic failure, and special education referral. Project ACHIEVE has a strong evaluation component that considers student outcomes, teacher outcomes, school outcomes, and direct and indirect outcomes. A formal evaluation of the impact of Project ACHIEVE found the following: a decrease in disciplinary referrals to the principal's office; a decrease in out-of-school suspensions; a significant decrease in the retention of students; and a significant increase in the number of students who scored above the 50th percentile on end-of-year achievement tests. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a comprehensive

schoolwide prevention and intervention program that provides behavioral support to students, including those with chronic behavioral problems, and consultation support to teachers. PBIS has four major components that provide prevention and intervention for problematic behavior, including schoolwide behavior support systems, specific setting support systems, classroom behavior support systems, and individual behavior support systems. The schoolwide support involves procedures and processes that are intended for all students, all staff, and all settings. Schoolwide efforts clarify expectations, simplify rules for student behavior, and build in a continuum of procedures to encourage students to display expected behaviors and discourage students from violating rules. The most important element of support at the schoolwide level is a building-based team that oversees all development, implementation, modification, and evaluation of prevention efforts. The setting-specific support component uses a team-based mechanism to monitor specific settings and to develop intervention strategies for settings within the building where problem behaviors occur regularly. The classroom support component involves procedures and processes for individual classrooms that parallel the strategies and procedures used schoolwide. The individual support component provides intensive, immediate, and effective intervention to students whose behavior presents the most significant or chronic challenge to staff. For these students, PBIS provides teachers and staff with a set of functional suggestions as well as additional resources to help them manage the student's behavior more effectively and deter placement of the student out of the neighborhood school. A formal evaluation of PBIS found a significant reduction in discipline referrals to the principal's office, especially in the time period prior to school vacations. In addition, evaluation findings indicated that teachers favor the PBIS program because they feel more effective in their teaching and management of student problem behavior. Providing Appropriate Academic Instruction Disruptive, antisocial, or violent behavior can result from ongoing academic frustration and failure. Schools and teachers face tremendous pressures to cover all of the required curricula while ensuring that every child performs at least at grade level. In their zeal to accomplish both goals, teachers sometimes provide instruction that is not tailored to meet the learning needs of every child. The experience of success--whether through academic or vocational instruction, or a combination of both--is important to minimize students' feelings of frustration. Of course, without extra support, success is virtually impossible. Numerous interventions exist to address the individual needs of struggling students, but far fewer schoolwide interventions have been fully developed. However, at least three schoolwide interventions are both effective and feasible for teachers to implement. They are Class-Wide Peer Tutoring, cooperative learning, and direct instruction. These strategies are particularly powerful because they enable children to experience a high rate of success on meaningful academic tasks and to practice their new skills. To use these techniques successfully, teachers and other staff must receive ongoing training to master instructional techniques. Class-Wide Peer Tutoring--An Example of an Academic Intervention Class-Wide Peer Tutoring (CWPT) is a method of same-age, intra-class, reciprocal peer tutoring that many schools around the country have found useful in adapting general education classroom instruction to meet the individual needs of diverse

students with diverse skills. In addition to peer tutors, teachers divide the text into short passages that can be introduced on Monday each week, tutored during daily sessions throughout the week, and tested for progress on Friday. Because the basic academic skills units (e.g., reading comprehension, math, spelling) are short by design, each student can practice them several times each day--leading to mastery, fluency, or automaticity. The units also may be organized by difficulty level to accommodate skill level differences represented in the classroom. For upper-grade, contentlevel instruction (e.g., social studies, science), the peer tutoring materials are organized around study guides that are coordinated with text book units within chapters. CWPT incorporates a game structure. Students earn points for themselves and for their team. They learn that winning the game is a matter of how well they and their partner respond to the task. Because of this arrangement, tutors learn to help, prompt, and really care about how their partner performs. Since teams and partners change each week, CWPT students learn from the very beginning that they are expected to work with every student in the classroom, so they learn to accept a variety of individual learning styles and different personalities. More than 35 studies have shown CWPT's superiority compared with other instructional strategies. Studies have shown increased engagement, mastery, and fluency with the subject matter. Further, students' weekly test scores and grades have improved.

Chapter 3: Responding to Children Exhibiting Early Warning Signs: Early Intervention With an effective foundation in place, most schools can look forward to a significant reduction in student behavioral problems. Preventing and greatly reducing such problems schoolwide makes it easier for staff to focus attention on specific students whose behaviors signal a need for early intervention. Students who continue to experience behavioral problems, despite schoolwide prevention activities, may be exhibiting early warning signs of violence. This chapter focuses on the 10 to 15 percent of students whose problem behaviors indicate a need for early intervention. The chapter reviews the early warning signs of violence, lists effective practices used by a number of schools to teach individuals to recognize the early warning signs, outlines a process for receiving and responding to concerns about individual children, and discusses how to develop early individualized interventions. Review of the Early Warning Signs of Violence Early Warning Signs * Social withdrawal. * Excessive feelings of isolation or being alone. * Excessive feelings of rejection. * Being a victim of violence. * Feelings of being picked on and persecuted. * Low school interest and poor academic performance. * Expression of violence in writing and drawings. * Uncontrolled anger. * Patterns of impulsive and chronic hitting, intimidating, and bullying behaviors.

* * * * * * *

History of discipline problems. History of violent and aggressive behavior. Intolerance for differences and prejudicial attitudes. Drug use and alcohol use. Affiliation with gangs. Inappropriate access to, possession of, and use of firearms. Serious threats of violence (also an imminent warning sign).

The list on the right presents the early warning signs, which were introduced in the Early Warning Guide. Safe and effective schools ensure that teachers, administrators, school support staff, parents, students, and the larger school community become familiar with the early warning signs and the principles for taking appropriate actions. Understanding is the first step in the process of early intervention because it gives people the knowledge to recognize when a student may need help. An important balance must be found between responding to the signs of a child who may need help and being harmful by labeling or overreacting to a situation. The ability to recognize the warning signs and to interpret them as indicators that a child may need assistance reduces the risk that parents, educators, and community members will misinterpret student behavior and react inappropriately. This balance between responding and overreacting is more likely achieved when the efforts to identify and respond to students are guided by the five principles for using the early warning signs of violence, which are listed. Further elaboration on these five principles can be found in the Early Warning Guide. Furthermore, the importance of building relationships with children and youth-part of the schoolwide foundation--cannot be overemphasized. When teachers, administrators, support staff, pupil services staff, and parents build close, caring, and supportive relationships with children and youth, they increase the likelihood that a child or youth who is in trouble will reach out to them. Teachers, due to their vast experiences with many same-age children, are uniquely positioned to identify students who may be exhibiting early warning signs. Teachers have frequent interactions and conversations with students, and are responsible for monitoring student academic performance and behavior. The depth and frequency of this contact often places teachers in a position in which students may disclose something personal or critically important to them, such as their feelings of isolation, reports of bullying behavior, situations of abuse or neglect, suicidal ideation, or threats that peers are making toward others or the school. Similarly, close and caring relationships between teachers and students can increase the chances that a student holding critical knowledge about another child or a potentially violent situation will disclose that information sooner rather than later. By getting to know children and youth, teachers, support staff, and parents are more likely to recognize a pattern or a change in behavior that may be an early warning sign and then seek assistance for the child. It's okay to be concerned about a child, but it's not okay to overreact and jump to conclusions. There are early warning signs in most cases of violence to self and others--certain behavioral and emotional signs that, when viewed in context, can signal a troubled child. But early warning signs are just that--indicators that a student may need help. Early Warning, Timely Response, p. 5. Principles for Using the Early Warning Signs of Violence

* * * * *

Do no harm. Understand violence and aggression within a context. Avoid stereotypes. View warning signs within a developmental context. Understand that children typically exhibit multiple warning signs.

Building the Capacity to Identify Early Warning Signs Teachers, administrators, and support staff are bombarded each school year by inservice training and new initiatives. Information overload and time demands can be overwhelming. Yet, the responsibility to protect the safety of children and to meet the needs of children at risk for violence cannot be left to one person or group of people. Rather, all school staff must be familiar with the early warning signs and possess a sense of urgency to respond appropriately on the behalf of children. The following policies, procedures, and practices build the capacity of a school and community to identify the early warning signs exhibited by children: * Policies that sanction and promote the identification of early warning signs and are backed by adequate resources. District and school policies should ensure that all members of the school community understand the importance of early warning signs and employ them appropriately. School boards and school-based policy-makers should be provided with evaluation data so that they can modify policies when necessary and allocate resources. Caution Simplistic or mechanical use of lists of warning signs can harm children and waste resources. Using the Early Warning Guide, educators, staff, and families can increase their ability to recognize early warning signs and discuss their concerns with the Student Support Team. Schools using the early warning signs should, at a minimum, use the descriptions of the early warning signs in the Early Warning Guide. * Procedures that encourage and expect individuals to report concerns about a student exhibiting early warning signs. Each school should develop a procedure that students and staff can follow when reporting their concerns about a child who exhibits early warning signs. For example, in many schools the principal is the first point of contact. In cases that do not pose imminent danger, the principal contacts a qualified mental health professional (e.g., school psychologist) who takes responsibility for addressing the concern immediately. If the concern is determined to be significant, the child's family should be contacted. Parents are consulted before any formal assessments are implemented and are included in the development of interventions for their child. In cases where school-based contextual factors are determined to be causing or exacerbating the child's troubling behavior, the school acts quickly to modify them. * Practices that encourage individuals to raise concerns about observed early warning signs and to report all observations of imminent danger immediately. When staff seek help for a troubled child, when friends report worries about a peer or friend, when parents raise concerns about their children's thoughts or behavior, children can get the help they need. School leaders can encourage members of the school community to raise concerns. * Policies that support ongoing training and consultation. District and school policies should ensure that school staff receive training and consultation on the effective use of the warning signs.

* Policies and procedures that ensure that staff and students use the early warning signs only for preliminary identification and referral purposes. Only trained professionals should diagnose a student in consultation with the child's parents or guardians. * School practices that encourage and provide opportunities for staff and families to establish close, caring, and supportive relationships with children and youth. Safe schools ensure that adults get to know children well enough to be aware of their needs, feelings, attitudes, and behavior patterns. * Policies, practices, and procedures that foster collaboration between the school and the students' families. Working together, educators and parents are encouraged to review school records for patterns of behavior or sudden changes in behavior. Imminent Warning Signs * Serious physical fighting with peers or family members. * Severe destruction of property. * Severe rage for seemingly minor reasons. * Detailed threats of lethal violence. * Possession and/or use of firearms and other weapons. * Other self-injurious behaviors or threats of suicide. Early Warning, Timely Response, p. 11. Gun-Free Schools The Gun-Free Schools Act requires that each state receiving federal funds under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) must have put in effect, by October 1995, a state law requiring local educational agencies to expel from school for a period of not less than one year a student who is determined to have brought a firearm to school. Each state's law also must allow the chief administering officer of the local educational agency to modify the expulsion requirement on a case-by-case basis. All local educational agencies receiving ESEA funds must have a policy that requires the referral of any student who brings a firearm to school to the criminal justice or juvenile justice system. Immediate Interventions for Dangerous Situations Immediate intervention by school authorities and possibly law enforcement officers is needed in the following circumstances: * A student has presented a detailed plan (time, place, and method) to harm himself or herself or others--particularly if the student has a history of aggression or has attempted to carry out threats in the past. * A student has a weapon, particularly a firearm, and has threatened to use it. In cases such as these, the school staff should immediately inform parents and other caregivers of these concerns. Schools are also responsible for seeking assistance from appropriate agencies, such as the police, child and family services, and community mental health services. These responses should reflect school board policies; federal, state, and local laws; and the school's violence prevention and response plan.

Connecting the Early Warning Signs to Early Intervention: Developing a Referral Response Process Once school staff, parents, and community members become familiar with the warning signs and understand the urgency of being responsive to a child exhibiting signs, they need to know how to respond. They need to know with whom to share their concerns and how to get help. Teachers and staff should feel confident that when they share their concerns about a child, support will be readily available. They rely upon having quick access to trained professionals who will determine how to help these students. In the majority of schools, a team of trained professionals already exists that provides consultation, evaluation, and intervention for students who are struggling academically, behaviorally, and socially. Safe schools will typically expand the focus of this team to include responding to individual students who exhibit early warning signs or, if necessary, create such a team. When a child or youth exhibits early warning signs, the school can no longer rely on schoolwide interventions alone. Rather, a Student Support Team, working with the teacher, child, and parents, must develop interventions that specifically address the child's behaviors of concern. Early intervention requires a referral process that can respond in a timely, coordinated, and effective manner. Referral It is important for all staff and families to understand the role and function of the Student Support Team and to be informed that the team is the authority to whom they bring their concerns regarding a child who may be exhibiting early warning signs. Staff training, parent question-and-answer sessions, classroom visits to inform students, and a public relations campaign within the community are needed to explain the team's membership, purpose, and approach and to disseminate information about how to request the team's assistance. Some schools create a brochure on ways to access the Student Support Team formally and include names and telephone numbers of team members to encourage informal consultations. All those involved with the student--including administrators, teachers, support staff, families, and students--may find it difficult to admit that a child close to them needs help. To encourage people to share their concerns about individual children, the referral process must be easy, and it must result in immediate attention by the Student Support Team. Schoolwide referral systems should enable teachers, staff, and parents to access the Student Support Team in a timely, respectful, supportive, and confidential manner. A school should consider several principles when developing a referral process. Principles for Developing a Referral Process The process of making a referral to the Student Support Team should enable students and staff to access help quickly. In developing the team's referral process, keep in mind the following seven principles: * Simplify requests for urgent assistance. Many school systems and community agencies have complex legalistic referral systems with timelines and waiting lists. Children who may be exhibiting early warning signs and are potentially at risk of endangering themselves or others cannot be placed on a waiting list. Referral forms must communicate the urgency of the referral to the team. Teams should consider adding a box on the standard referral form to indicate when the referral is about a child who is exhibiting early warning signs for violence. Alternatively, a separate referral form might be developed that is copied onto brightly colored paper and used only for referrals regarding a child who is exhibiting early warning signs. Consideration should also be given to listing the imminent warning signs on the referral form, with instructions that direct the

person to go to the principal immediately if the concerns match imminent warning signs rather than early warning signs. * Give scheduling preference to urgent referrals. The Student Support Team must respond by convening as soon as possible following the receipt of a referral regarding a child exhibiting early warning signs. These referrals cannot be pushed to an agenda in the future. In some cases, the Student Support Team will need to "bump" a nonurgent referral from its agenda to review the referral as soon as possible. In other situations, the team will need to convene at a day or time other than its regular schedule. * Encourage informal consultations. Sometimes teachers, staff, students, and parents hesitate to refer a child they think may be exhibiting early warning signs. Their hesitation may stem from the formal nature of this action, the insecurities they feel about identifying early warning signs, and how they might feel if their referral is deemed unfounded. That's why safe schools encourage informal consultations, because they offer another option to share concerns about individual children. * Inform and listen to parents when early warning signs are observed. Parents should be involved as soon as possible. Parents need to be encouraged to meet with the Student Support Team when a referral has been made about their child possibly exhibiting early warning signs. * Make interventions available as soon as possible following referrals. Too frequently, interventions are not available quickly. Safe and effective schools build mechanisms into their referral process that ensure that the Student Support Team convenes promptly, involves parents immediately, and, within the first meeting, decides what actions or steps each person will take initially to support the child. * Maintain confidentiality and parents' rights to privacy. In responding to a referral, Student Support Teams may determine with the family that agencies outside of the school need to become involved. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a federal law that addresses the privacy of education records, must be observed in all referrals to or sharing of information with other community agencies. In particular, parent-approved interagency communication should be kept confidential. FERPA generally requires parental consent before personally identifiable information about a student is shared with other agencies. FERPA does allow disclosure (without parental consent) to appropriate parties such as medical or emergency personnel in the case of an acute emergency (imminent danger). * Circumvent the referral process in cases of imminent warning signs. When a student is believed to pose imminent danger, safety must always be the foremost consideration. In these situations, the referral process is circumvented. Action must be taken immediately by school authorities and law enforcement personnel. Principals may find it helpful to seek consultation from the Student Support Team while taking immediate action and notifying the student's parents of the school's concerns. Involving Students in the Referral Process Students must be partners in identifying early warning signs and providing information about potentially dangerous situations. Just as schools should make the referral process comfortable for adults, safe schools should tailor the referral process to the needs of students. Students who have information about a peer or a potentially dangerous situation may be fearful and hesitant to share

their concerns. Both the Schoolwide Team and the Student Support Team should work with students to develop ideas and approaches for students to share their concerns about peers and situations without the fear of reprisal. Some schools have created a telephone hotline or a safe school box for written concerns; others have designated a set of students at each grade level who are "safe school liaisons," because they are available to hear concerns from their peers. Techniques like these enable students to share their concerns or information more comfortably, trusting that their information will remain confidential. Acknowledging to students that they are partners with the staff in keeping their school safe will create a sense of shared responsibility and ally students with the staff and community. Ensuring students of confidentiality will increase their use of the reporting system. Handling Referral Questions One effective model that combines problem-solving, consultation, and preliminary planning processes is Referral Question Consultation. This component of Project ACHIEVE was developed to specifically investigate referral concerns of teachers, parents, or others working with a student. This model focuses on developing specific referral questions that, when answered, have obvious implications for intervention. These referral questions are based on the development of hypotheses regarding a particular referral concern. Referral questions and individualized assessment plans are collaboratively developed through ongoing, data-based consultation with the student's teachers and parents. Once the assessment is completed, specific answers to the referral questions are generated. These answers lead directly to developing interventions that alleviate the conditions causing the troubling behavior. Responding to Referrals The Student Support Team must have the capacity to respond to referrals in a timely, coordinated, and effective manner. Adopting a procedure to guide how the team provides individualized interventions and supports will improve both the efficiency and the effectiveness of the team's response to children and youth who need early intervention. Effective procedures incorporate problem-solving, consultation, preliminary planning, and developing and implementing interventions. Teams repeatedly cycle through these activities as they develop, implement, monitor, and modify individualized interventions and supports for particular students. Safe schools understand that families are central to children's educational success and their social and emotional adjustment. To involve the family at each step--from referral through the implementation of individualized interventions-requires that families feel valued and supported and that they experience parity with other members of the team. Families should be viewed as members of the team who can provide a comprehensive picture of their children from birth to the present. Families can help the team identify children's strengths and interests, as well as validate observed needs. The information provided by families informs decisions the Student Support Team will make with families regarding children's needs for individualized early intervention and assessment. Maintaining a collaborative relationship between the school and family will lay the groundwork for the successful implementation of early intervention plans.

Questions to Frame the Discussion at the Initial Meeting After the Referral For the initial meeting, the team's assessment goals are to gather preliminary information about the factors contributing to the behaviors of concern. The team should pose questions that begin to identify possible reasons for the problem behaviors. This preliminary information is important because it directs follow-up activities as the team moves into developing the child's individualized intervention plan. The following five types of questions can help the team engage in problem-solving: * Questions that lead to discussion about the child's strengths and weaknesses in such areas as academic skills and progress, friendships, emotional adjustment, coping strategies, physical health, interests, loss or other traumatic experiences, and personal and family strengths and stressors. * Questions that lead to discussion and information about the interaction of the child's skills and ability to cope with life and school demands, including selfmanagement of frustration, conflict, and attention; adaptability to changes; and willingness to seek assistance. * Questions that lead to discussion about the interaction of the child's skills and means for coping with instructional demands, including the match between the child's academic skills and academic demands. * Questions that lead to discussion about how directions are typically presented; whether they are multi-step, ambiguous, complicated; whether instruction is paced too slow or too fast; presented in either a highly oral or a highly visual mode; the amount of independent work versus group work; and pencil-and-paper work versus hands-on projects. * Questions that lead to discussion of what strategies the school has tried and what the results have been. The Initial Meeting Once the Student Support Team receives a referral for a child who may be exhibiting early warning signs, the response process begins with a meeting. The agenda for the initial meeting will likely include problem-solving, consultation, and preliminary planning. * Problem-Solving. The team should convene promptly to discuss the referral and to decide what actions to take following the meeting. The team's discussion in this meeting should focus on understanding the problem behaviors and events that led to the concerns and subsequent referral. Effective collaboration at this initial team meeting is imperative. Team members must encourage the referring person to discuss concerns openly and should acknowledge the person's "good work" in noticing the child's difficulties and making the referral for assistance. A team member should let the referring person know that questions will be posed to clarify the concerns and observations leading to the referral and to determine any immediate risks to the child or school community that should be addressed immediately. * Consultation. Once the team discusses the questions, the team will determine how to respond to the concerns. At this stage, consultation with the referring teacher or parent may be appropriate. For example, the mental health professional or the school nurse may provide valuable support if the problem is social, emotional, or medical in nature. Similarly, the team may determine that the classroom teacher needs assistance from a master teacher to modify instructional approaches or classroom management strategies. If the team decides that a consultation will not be sufficient to deal effectively with the problem, it should decide how to

proceed; sometimes, a more in-depth approach is needed. * Preliminary Planning. At this point, the team develops a preliminary action plan to detail specific follow-up activities, outlining the child and teacher supports that will be implemented immediately and continue until the team meets again to develop the child's individualized intervention plan. The nature and complexity of the problem will determine how the team moves through the process. To ensure effective follow-through, the team may designate a case manager, who tracks every step of the process. In addition, the team should list the responsibilities of each team member on the action plan, list dates each activity will be completed, and agree on a date and time when members will reconvene. Typically, families and team members find that a case manager can facilitate progress and help families feel connected and in the "communication loop." Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA; Public Law 105-17 and Final Regulations published in the Federal Register, March 12, 1999), an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) team must meet to conduct a "functional behavioral assessment" and implement an associated "behavioral intervention plan" for any child with a disability who has been removed from the current education placement for more than 10 school days in the same school year. If the child already has a behavioral intervention plan, the IEP team shall meet to review the plan and its implementation and modify the plan and its implementation, as necessary, to address the behavior. Developing Early Interventions After the team's initial meeting, follow-up activities should focus on collecting data and information that identify the specific factors underlying and contributing to the problem behaviors. Several data collection procedures can help identify the causes of a child's problem behavior, but one approach--functional assessment--is becoming more familiar to school professionals. This familiarity is due to changes in special education law which require the use of functional assessment in particular situations involving students with disabilities. The following describes how to employ functional assessment to develop individualized interventions and supports. The Student Support Team can use this process to develop individualized early interventions following the initial meeting to review and discuss the referral. There are three phases: problem identification and analysis, plan development and implementation, and plan evaluation. Problem Identification and Analysis * Understanding the Problem Behaviors. A well-developed assessment plan and a properly executed functional assessment should identify the contextual factors that contribute to behavior. This is accomplished by collecting information on the various conditions under which a student is most and least likely to be a successful learner. The information collected through discussion, record review and direct observation will allow the team to predict the circumstances under which the problem behavior is most and least likely to occur. * Direct Measurement of the Problem Behavior. During this stage, the Student Support Team collects and analyzes important information about the problem behavior. Observing the student in the classroom or other settings provides information regarding frequency, intensity, and severity of the problem; when and where the behavior does and does not occur, and the consequences of this behavior.

* Functional Assessment. During the problem-solving phase, the team identifies the causes of behavior and selects interventions to directly address those causes. In using functional assessment, the team looks beyond the behavior itself and focuses on the factors associated with the behavior in the setting in which it occurs. What is the child seeking to obtain, avoid, or escape? What does the child gain through this behavior? Conversely, what is the child protesting? The major objective is to substitute a positive behavior or response that serves the same function for the student, but is acceptable in the school. Since the child's desires are often intricately woven into the instructional setting and demands, functional assessment can provide information on ways to modify and address the instructional strategies and other environmental conditions contributing to the problem behavior. Functional Assessment--An Example Seventh-grade twin brothers, who were receiving special education and related services, were being disruptive out of school and in some of their classes. The IEP team met and decided to do a functional assessment. This assessment included teacher interviews and classroom observations in the settings where the students were and were not disruptive. After speaking with the students, the team determined that they were disruptive only in science and social studies because they had difficulty reading the teacher's cursive handwriting. As a result of the assessment, the teachers printed the material and worked to address the underlying learning issues. The students' academic performance and behavior markedly improved after the assessment. Plan Development, Implementation, and Evaluation * Developing a Step-by-Step Intervention Plan. A plan should be developed to enable the child to substitute a replacement behavior and to make the environment and adult-child interactions conducive to the child's needs for support and learning. The new behavior should be meaningful to the child and allow the child to meet an appropriate need that the child was previously meeting by engaging in the undesirable behavior. Once the replacement behavior is defined, a plan should be developed to teach the child the new behavior and to change any environmental conditions that are either causing or maintaining the undesirable behavior. * Implementing the Intervention. Each step of the plan must be implemented as planned. If the plan is part of a child's IEP, it must be implemented as written. After two to four weeks, the team should gauge the preliminary success of the plan and identify ways the plan may be modified or supports added. If a school has tried other plans that lacked consistency or adequacy, the Student Support Team should allow more time to pass before determining the effectiveness of the new plan. Students can "wait out" an intervention if they expect it to discontinue quickly. * Monitoring the Intervention. If the plan is successful in meeting its intended goals, then the team must decide whether the intervention should be continued, scaled back, or applied to other behaviors or in other settings. Ultimately, the intervention should include a self-management and monitoring component so that the student can begin to take responsibility for his or her own behavior. If the plan does not meet its desired goals, then revisions to the intervention may be necessary. Revisions may also require the team to cycle back through direct measurement of behavior and functional assessment. If the student is a child with a disability, the requirements of the IDEA must be fulfilled.

Early Interventions First Step to Success First Step to Success is an early intervention program designed to address the needs of kindergarten children identified as having antisocial or aggressive behavioral problems. The model includes three components: a kindergarten screening process, a classroom-based skills training curriculum called CLASS, and a family intervention program called HomeBase. First Step to Success uses trained consultants who work directly with students, teachers, and parents to help coordinate the intervention efforts between the home and the school. Consultants provide teachers and parents strategies to teach students alternative replacement behaviors and to effectively reward students when those behaviors are used appropriately and consistently. Students learn specific skills and behaviors to use that are more effective and adaptive than the behaviors they have used in the past. To provide practice and reinforcement for the new skills the child has learned, the consultant, teacher, or classroom aide provides the student with visual cues (i.e., a green or red card) during the school day that indicate whether he or she is on-task and using appropriate behaviors. Over the course of a school day, the student accrues points toward his or her behavioral goal. If the student makes the daily goal, he or she gets to select a fun activity for the entire class to participate in and appreciate. Every evening, teachers provide parents with feedback about how the student's day went. Parents are trained and encouraged to reward the child's positive behavior by spending extra time with their child in a fun child-directed activity. Once the classroom teacher feels comfortable taking full responsibility for implementing the CLASS curriculum, the consultant begins working more directly with the student's parents to assist the family with implementing the HomeBase intervention program. A formal evaluation of First Step to Success found effective and lasting improvements in the students' behavior and social adjustment, even three years after the initial intervention. Significant reductions were observed in the students' aggressive and maladaptive behaviors, while significant increases were observed in the student's adaptive behaviors and academic engaged time. In addition, teachers implementing the CLASS curriculum expressed high levels of satisfaction with the program, noting that it is easy to learn and implement and leads to favorable results with their students. Positive Adolescent Choices Training Positive Adolescent Choices Training (PACT) is a violence prevention curriculum designed to be implemented in an intensive, small group setting with African American middle and high school students who are at risk for becoming victims or perpetrators of violence. The PACT curriculum is a culturally sensitive training program developed specifically for African American adolescents. PACT uses a cognitive-behavioral group training method that equips adolescents with specific knowledge, as well as social and anger management skills to use in situations of interpersonal conflict. The curriculum involves teaching in three primary areas: violence-risk education, anger management, and prosocial skills. Individual lessons concentrate on dispelling myths, educating students about violence, building alternative social and self-management skills, and changing cognitive beliefs that lead to physical contact, aggression, and violent acts.

The violence-risk education component dispels myths about what constitutes a threat and counters belief systems that perpetuate hostility and the capacity for violence (e.g., thinking that violence is acceptable, victims don't suffer, victims deserve what they get, and quick assumptions that others intend harm). Emphasis is placed on developing the student's capacity to generate alternative solutions to conflict, including skills such as giving positive and negative feedback, accepting feedback from others, negotiating and problem-solving, and resisting peer pressure. PACT uses videotaped vignettes with African American role models as well as student-directed role-playing skits to teach skills and provide multiple opportunities to practice alternative anger management skills. A formal evaluation of PACT found a significant reduction in the physical aggression displayed at school by students participating in the intensive curriculum, as well as fewer violence-related juvenile court charges than a comparable group of students who had not participated in the PACT curriculum. Early Intervention Strategies The table below lists strategies that may be used for early interventions. These strategies differ in their complexity. Although each strategy listed may work for some students, no one strategy works for all students. In addition, some strategies have been evaluated extensively through research studies, while others have less research to document their effectiveness. These strategies are provided to assist Student Support Teams who are developing intervention plans for students whose behavioral problems have been resistant to universal or schoolwide interventions. It is important to note that these strategies could also be integrated with the schoolwide foundation as well as incorporated in intensive interventions. Developing an Early Intervention Plan--An Example Darren, an eighth-grade student with a learning disability, made a threat under his breath that he was going to beat up his teacher. The teacher recognized the threat as an early warning sign. The teacher then made a referral to the Student Support Team. The team included the child's mother, a special education case manager, the general education referring teacher, the principal, a speech-language clinician, a school psychologist, and a school social worker. The team discussed the referral and the academic, behavioral, and language goals currently included on Darren's IEP. The referring teacher explained that Darren made the threat after she prompted him for a third time to begin his work. The teacher also commented that Darren's reading skills were very poor. The team developed a preliminary hypothesis regarding the problem behavior and developed an action plan for a follow-up assessment. After observing Darren in large group instructional settings, the hypothesis was confirmed: Darren was having difficulty comprehending material presented orally, comprehending eighthgrade reading material, and communicating these problems to his teacher. As a result of the assessment, the speech and language clinician worked with Darren to script ways that he could communicate his confusion and need for assistance. At the same time, the special education and general education teachers collaborated on ways to adapt his textbooks and use cooperative learning groups to reduce the frequency of large-group oral presentation of content.

There are three keys to designing early interventions for particular students. The first is to assess (as completely as possible) the reasons for the child's behavior so that selection of strategies is highly informed and targeted. The second key is to match the intensity of the intervention to the severity of the need. The third key is to look at the student's strengths and interests, including his or her cultural background. Effective interventions should be culturally appropriate. Early Intervention Strategies (Intervention Strategy/Brief Descriptions) Accommodations and modifications Changing instructional practices, the ways students demonstrate mastery, and the way students input information to help students with disabilities or learning differences achieve and demonstrate academic mastery (e.g., oral responses versus written essays, tape recordings of text and information). Alternative educational strategies Alternative strategies provided for students who for some reason are not succeeding in the traditional setting. Alternative times--day and night school Flexible schedules for students who, for various reasons, may not be able to attend school during traditional school hours. Anger management training Methods for teaching socially appropriate ways to deal with anger. Behavioral intervention A group of strategies designed to increase positive behaviors and decrease maladaptive behaviors by manipulating environmental conditions that either precede or follow the student's behavior. Behavioral support plan A plan designed to teach alternative replacement behaviors in environments and through adult interactions that are adapted and made more responsive to the student's individual needs. Contingency contracting A behavioral contract between a student and all involved adults. The contract specifies the expected behaviors and the consequences for performing or not performing them. Cognitive behavioral interventions and training An approach to behavior change that includes changing the way a person thinks or feels about a situation. For example, teaching children that they have the problem-solving skills necessary to resolve social problems in a nonaggressive way will usually prevent them from dealing inappropriately with others in social situations (i.e., using aggression). Differential reinforcement A method for decreasing inappropriate behaviors by rewarding alternative behaviors (e.g., decreasing out-of-seat behavior by rewarding the student for remaining in his or her seat). Drop-out prevention Interventions designed to identify students at risk for dropping out of school and

to provide them with the services and supports necessary to help them successfully complete school. Drop-out reentry program Interventions and transition planning to ensure a student's success when returning to school after dropping out. Environmental modifications Modifying the class and school environment to respond to unique learning, behavioral, or emotional needs of students. Extended day programs Structured after-school programs designed to offer student supervision. These programs can focus on athletics, academics, hobbies, or other interests. Extinction procedures Ignoring a behavior that is reinforced by attention. For example, if a student talks out to get the teacher's attention, an extinction procedure would call for ignoring inappropriate talk-outs and reinforcing appropriate contributions to the group discussion (i.e., raising a hand and waiting for a turn to speak). Functional communication training Teaching students alternative, adaptive ways to communicate their needs to others, such as through a brief verbalization, hand gesture, or signal (e.g., flipping a card over, which signals to the teacher the student's need for assistance). Goal-oriented therapeutic counseling Services provided by trained school counselors, social workers, or psychologists to help a student or group of students address behaviors and personal or social problems. Group and family counseling Counseling provided by a trained individual to help a person or persons work through a problem. Mentoring An individualized approach to providing a caring connection and a positive role model for a child. Mentors spend time with children, usually doing nonacademictype tasks. Positive behavioral interventions Interventions designed to build on a student's strengths and increase the frequency of his or her adaptive responses while modifying the environment and adult responses to support the student's learning and use of adaptive responses. Response cost Taking away something positive for inappropriate behavior. Staying in during recess to complete a missed homework assignment is an example of response cost. Reward system Rewarding students for appropriate behavior. Rewards can be social (a smile), an activity (time to read a novel), or tangible (candy or points on a token system). Students can earn rewards for themselves or for a group, and the rewards can be delivered by an adult, peer, or others. Self-management Teaching students to be aware of their behavior in such a way that they are able to identify its occurrence or nonoccurrence, measure its occurrence, and evaluate

whether the behavior is improving, remaining the same, or getting worse. Shadowing older students A plan where a student shadows a more senior student. Learning through modeling is often effective for transitions from one school to another. Social problem-solving instruction Teaching students to use an effective process to solve social problems fairly and without aggression. Time-away Giving the student permission to briefly leave a learning activity or take a break. This is a coping strategy reinforced and encouraged by the teacher. Time-out Removing the student from a situation that is rewarding inappropriate behavior. For example, if a student's anger seems to be fueled by the cheers of his or her peers, the adult may ask the student to go to a place where peer attention is not available. Token economies A system by which students earn points (tokens) for appropriate behavior. Points can later be exchanged for reinforcement (social rewards, activities, or something more tangible). Transition programs Interventions specifically designed to identify transition needs, teach skills, and provide the support necessary for a child's success in a new environment. Tutoring Intensive academic instruction provided by a teacher or other skilled person

Chapter 4: Providing Intensive Interventions to Troubled Students Chapter 2 described schoolwide interventions that are intended to reduce and prevent most behavior problems in schools. Chapter 3 discussed the use of early intervention strategies for the approximately 10 to 15 percent of students who continue to experience behavioral problems even when schoolwide interventions are in place. These students also may be exhibiting early warning signs and, if so, will require the Student Support Team to develop individualized early interventions to meet their needs. In this chapter, the focus turns to the remaining 3 to 10 percent of children who experience significant emotional and behavioral problems. Specific interventions and their intensity will depend on the nature, severity, and frequency of each child's emotional and behavioral problems. Frequently, students who require intensive interventions, services, and supports are experiencing moderate to severe emotional and behavioral disorders that significantly impair their functioning and quality of life across the domains of family, school, peers, and community. In many situations, these students are often eligible for special education services or have a mental health diagnosis. Safe schools implement intensive interventions that include a full array of services and supports and that coordinate the resources of the school and other

community agencies. This array of services and supports should be individualized to meet the unique needs of each child and family. Rather than plugging children and families into interventions based on categories or levels of symptoms, the Student Support Teams should work with other community agencies to tailor services and supports to the needs of each child and family. The following are examples of intervention approaches and practices that are being used successfully to provide intensive interventions to children and their families. Comprehensive School-Based Mental Health Programs Many schools have access to mental health professionals, such as school psychologists, counselors, and school social workers. Many of these staff can provide support for prevention, early intervention, and intensive intervention services. Effective school-based mental health programs are located in school buildings using these and other mental health professionals. Together, they provide a comprehensive range of mental health services to children and their families, and often have strong collaborative ties with multiple community agencies. The Lafourche Parish School-Based Mental Health Program Located in Thibodaux, Louisiana, the Lafourche Parish program provides intervention, consultation, and assessment for students with a particularly strong emphasis on coordinated intensive intervention for its most involved students with behavioral and emotional difficulties. There are three interconnected programs: discreet planned intervention, which provides targeted individualized early intervention; day treatment, which offers a therapeutic classroom environment for students requiring intensive intervention; and a school-based psychiatric clinic, which provides a highly intensive intervention for students and families in conjunction with community mental health centers. The success of comprehensive school-based mental health programs depends on the ability of administrators, teachers, school-based mental health professionals, and other school staff to integrate mental health priorities and educational priorities into one vision that affects the everyday practices and decision-making of school professionals. Successful school-based mental health programs are woven into the fabric of the school including its classroom and instructional priorities. To accomplish this integration successfully, schools must combine the development of their comprehensive school-based mental health program with systematic schoolwide reform efforts. By joining schoolwide reform efforts, school-based mental health professionals can emphasize the benefits of building collaborative efforts within and between schools and community mental health providers, social services, juvenile justice agencies, and families. The Kids in Community Schools The Kids in Community Schools (KICS) program is a school-based mental health program at the Martin Luther King School in Yonkers, New York. It is funded through the New York State Office of Mental Health and administered through Westchester Jewish Community Services. The goals of the program are to maintain students with emotional disabilities or children at risk in the least restrictive environment; to develop preventative mental health services through collaboration with families, school, and the community; and to enhance community mental health services for children. The program provides on-site, direct mental health services, including child and family treatment, crisis intervention, individual and family respite, and psychological, psychiatric, and psycho-educational services.

Special Education and Related Services Special education eligibility under IDEA includes the designation of emotional disturbance. In general, under the federal definition, this designation includes children and youth demonstrating unsatisfactory personal relationships with peers and teachers and who have inappropriate types of behaviors or feelings under normal circumstances. For children who are eligible under IDEA, and whose behavior interferes with their learning or the learning of others, the IEP Team must consider, if appropriate, "positive behavioral interventions, strategies, and supports to address that behavior." These interventions, strategies, and supports must be incorporated into the student's IEP. It is also important to point out that the positive behavioral interventions, strategies, and supports available under IDEA are not limited to students with emotional disturbance. Such interventions can help any student whose behavior interferes with his or her social and emotional development and learning. The 1997 reauthorization of IDEA emphasized in both spirit and letter that special education is an array of services and supports rather than a place. Under its Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) requirements, IDEA specifies that special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment should occur only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily. It is important to note that positive behavioral interventions and supports, like other services provided to students with disabilities, can be implemented in the regular education classroom. Alternative Programs and Schools Schools have sometimes been unsuccessful in addressing the complex needs of significantly troubled children and youths who have intensely challenging behaviors. Some districts have established alternative programs to continue educating students who previously would have dropped out or been suspended or expelled. These programs have increased dramatically, with three out of four school districts reporting some form of alternative program. Some school districts locate alternative programs in neighborhood schools, while others operate their programs in separate facilities. Some alternative programs are behavioral in focus. Others emphasize a day treatment model, which provides students and families with intensive mental health and special education services. Effective alternative programs are not custodial; rather, they collaborate with regular schools to facilitate reintegration. Characteristics of effective alternative programs include the following: * Intensive individualized instruction in credit-earning coursework. * Continuation of special education services for students with IEPs. * Positive behavioral supports--including social skills and anger management/abatement--within a structured school environment. * Psychological and mental health consultation and counseling. * Active family involvement. * Transition services that support the return to regular school. * Community agency involvement (e.g., mental health programs, social services, law enforcement, juvenile justice).

* Caring staff committed to building relationships with students. * Effective, engaging instructional techniques with curriculum demands that match each student's academic skills. Alternative Schools The Positive Education Program's Day Treatment Programs Cleveland, Ohio's, Positive Education Program (PEP) operates six day treatment centers that provide a supportive environment marked by high expectations for appropriate behavior and an emphasis on competence. These centers enable students to stay at home or in their community and to successfully return to less restrictive educational settings. The centers are neither dumping grounds nor places that focus on the external control of behavior. Instead, they develop IEPs for each student and provide a variety of services, such as individual counseling and behavioral intervention, social skills, therapeutic arts, speech and language, and crisis intervention. The centers' many components include the following: * Positive behavioral supports. * Outdoor education, therapeutic camping, and community experiences. * Parent support and education. * Liaison to juvenile court. * Academic programming. PEP provides young people with a socially and academically rich environment, readies them for reintegration into mainstream settings, and works with staff in those settings to support them once they return. Lane School Lane School, a public school alternative setting for students with the most serious behavioral problems, is supported by the Lane Education Service District, Lane County, Oregon. With just four classrooms, the Lane School typically has fewer than 30 students in its program at one time. The program is small so that students can receive the structure, attention, and skills they need to improve their behavior and their academic performance and prepare to return to their neighborhood schools. Interventions are highly individualized, and the emphasis is on effective problemsolving through communication with others and on improving each student's academic performance. The supervisor of Lane School emphasizes the need for efficient and effective structures in place that lead to the creation of "civil classroom and school climates." This includes having clear rules, teaching students alternative responses to anger, reinforcing newly learned skills, intervening in aggression early, deterring violent behaviors with clear consequences, and emphasizing academics consistently. Lane School is committed to successful transitions of the students back into their home schools, a process that begins the day students enroll in Lane School. These transitions work best when Lane School staff--in the words of Robin, a Lane School teacher and transition specialist--"succeed in export[ing] the program and...its strategies into the county's schools....These schools are truly committed to advocating for each child."

Quinn, M.M., Osher, D., Hoffman, C.C., & Hanley, T.V. (1998). Safe, Drug-free, and Effective Schools for ALL Students: What Works! Washington, DC: Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice, American Institutes for Research, pp. 21-22. Systems of Care A system of care has been defined by the Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U. S. Department of Health and Human Services as a coordinated continuum of mental health and related services and supports designed to work with families to help children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbances get the services they need, in or near their home and community. In systems of care, local public and private organizations work in teams with families to plan and implement a tailored set of services for each child's physical, emotional, social, educational, and family needs. Teams include family advocates and representatives from mental health, health, education, child welfare, juvenile justice, vocational rehabilitation, recreation, substance abuse, and other services. In effective systems of care, teams include the child and family and build upon the child's and family's strengths rather than focusing solely on problems. The range of services that may be included in a system of care are as follows: * Career counseling. * Case management (service coordination). * Community-based inpatient psychiatric care. * Counseling (individual and group). * Crisis outreach teams. * Crisis residential care. * Day treatment. * Education/special education services. * Family support. * Health services. * Independent living supports. * Intensive family-based counseling. * Legal services. * Protection and advocacy. * Psychiatric consultation. * Recreational therapy. * Residential treatment.

* Respite care. * Self-help or support groups. * Small therapeutic group care. * Therapeutic foster care. * Transportation. * Tutoring. For greatest effectiveness, the Student Support Team and the local system of care should develop established interagency agreements that facilitate the integration and coordination of services. When these services seem necessary for a child and family in need, agency staff competent in such intensive services can become part of the Student Support Team. The expanded team works together with the family and student to develop a plan. Together, they determine roles and responsibilities (e.g., case management); develop methods for coordination and communication; and provide for ongoing evaluation. Cross-Site Findings Regarding Schools as Part of Systems of Care The following six practices are integral to the success of schools as part of systems of care: * The use of clinicians or other student support providers in the schools to work with students, their families, and all members of the school community, including teachers and administrators. * The use of school-based and school-focused Wraparound services to support learning and transition. * The use of school-based case management. Case managers help determine needs; identify goals, resources, and activities; link children and families to other services; monitor services to ensure that they are being delivered appropriately; and advocate for change when necessary. * The provision of schoolwide prevention and early intervention programs. Prevention helps those students with or at risk of developing emotional and behavioral problems to learn the skills and behaviors that help in following school rules and enjoying positive academic and social outcomes. Early intervention allows schools to provide students with the support and training they need to be more successful in managing their behavior. * The creation of centers within the school to support children and youths with emotional and behavioral needs as well as their families. Students in the centers interact with caring staff members who can help students and their families connect with the entire system of care to help meet their needs. * The use of family liaisons or advocates to strengthen the role of and empower family members in their children's education and care. All three sites studied have harnessed the power that involving family members as equal partners brings to their comprehensive programs. Woodruff, D.W., Osher, D., Hoffman, C.C., Gruner, A., King, M.A., Snow, S.T., and McIntire, J.C. (1999). The Role of Education in a System of Care: Effectively

Serving Children with Emotional or Behavioral Disorders. Systems of Care: Promising Practices in Children's Mental Health, 1998 Series, Volume III. Washington, DC: Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice, American Institutes for Research, p. xiii. Individualized Mental Health Services and Supports Effective systems of care tailor interventions to address the strengths and needs of individual youth who may require different interventions at different developmental stages. Over the past decade, powerful and intensive interventions have been developed to address the multiple factors contributing to serious emotional and behavioral problems. To be effective, an intervention should address all of these factors and support the entire social ecology of the youth in trouble. These programs provide intensive therapy and support that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There is daily contact, either face-to-face or by phone, with families. These services usually last for a minimum of three to five months, depending on the seriousness of the problem and the success of the intervention. Three models that have demonstrated impressive results are highlighted below. Multisystemic Therapy One intervention that has proven its effectiveness is multisystemic therapy (MST). It has been effective with youth with issues ranging from substance abuse and crime to suicidal and homicidal impulses. Multisystemic therapy is built upon the following nine essential principles: * The primary purpose of assessment is to understand the fit between the identified problems and their broader systemic context. * Therapeutic contacts emphasize the positive and use systemic strengths as levers for change. * Interventions are designed to promote responsible behavior and decrease irresponsible behavior among family members. * Interventions are present-focused and action-oriented, targeting specific and well-defined problems. * Interventions target sequences of behavior within and between multiple systems that maintain the identified problems. * Interventions are developmentally appropriate and fit the developmental needs of the youth. * Interventions are designed to require daily or weekly effort by family members. * Intervention effectiveness is evaluated continuously from multiple perspectives, with providers assuming accountability for overcoming barriers to successful outcomes. * Interventions are designed to promote treatment generalization and long-term maintenance of therapeutic change by empowering caregivers to address family members' needs across multiple systemic contexts. Treatment Foster Care Multisystemic therapy is an example of an effective strategy for addressing the needs of youths whose behaviors or needs have not worsened to the point where outof-home placement is mandated. Treatment foster care extends the model of

intensive, family-focused intervention to youth whose delinquency has been so serious and so chronic that they are no longer permitted to live at home. Like multisystemic therapy, it works because it includes every major aspect of a youth's life in the intervention: the individual, family, peers, and school. Indeed, treatment foster care has been rigorously evaluated, and, compared with ordinary group care, has been shown to reduce repeat offenses and to increase the number of successful youths who return to living with relatives. The model on which treatment foster care is based recognizes the challenges of living with a youth exhibiting serious antisocial behavior. Parents can be worn down by escalating conflict to a point where their normal parenting resources are seriously diminished. It is precisely these normal resources--the ability to provide meaningful adult supervision, to implement discipline consistently, to minimize association with delinquent peers, and to support academic achievement-that keep delinquency at bay. What treatment foster care does is provide these powerful socialization forces of family life for youngsters at a point when the youths' behaviors have become so dangerous to society that they are removed from their homes. Treatment foster care families are recruited for their ability to share the basis of their experience with adolescents, their willingness to act as treatment agents, and their ability to provide a nurturing family environment. Foster families apply formally and participate in 20 hours of pre-service training, which emphasizes the use of behavior management methods. These methods, which provide youths with a structured daily living environment, include close supervision, clear rules, and enforcement of limits. Treatment foster care parents are taught how to implement individualized plans that take into account youths' needs and the treatment foster care family's schedule and values. A three-level system is used in which the youth's privileges and level of supervision are based on their compliance with program rules, adjustment in school, and general progress. Treatment Foster Care parents participate in weekly foster parent group meetings. Here they review youths' progress, identify problems, and discuss potential solutions. Each youth in treatment foster care participates in individual behavior therapy focused on skill-building in problem-solving, social perspective taking, and nonaggressive methods of self-expression. Birth families and other concerned individuals involved with the youth's care participate in weekly family therapy focused on parent management training with an emphasis on supervision, encouragement, discipline, and problem-solving. Schools are an important part of the intervention; each youth carries a card to class and teachers sign off on attendance, homework completion, and attitude. Youths who are suspended are required to do schoolwork or chores during school hours. Wraparound Planning and Services Another approach to providing intensive interventions that has spread throughout the country is the Wraparound process. Wraparound is not a therapy or a program, but rather it is an approach to providing services and supports to children with serious emotional and behavioral problems and their families. The Wraparound approach involves 10 essential elements and values that guide the process of providing intensive services to children and their families. The Wraparound approach includes a definable planning process involving the child and family, community agencies, and school staff that results in a unique set of school and community services and supports tailored to meet the needs of the child and family. This Wraparound team includes the child and family, professional service providers (e.g., mental health workers, educators, child welfare workers, law enforcement and juvenile justice personnel), and natural supports from the

community, including extended family members, friends, clergy--anyone the family may call upon to help their child. The team develops goals and identifies the individualized set of services and supports necessary to achieve those goals. The plan employs a strengths-based assessment, is coordinated by a Wraparound facilitator or case manager, specifies a crisis/safety plan, and identifies measurable outcomes that can be monitored regularly. Since a critical element of the Wraparound approach is that services and supports are provided in the child's and family's community, the involvement of school professionals from the child's neighborhood school can be extensive. School-based Wraparound planning builds upon the individualized nature of special education planning and includes the teacher and other relevant school personnel as part of the planning team. Given that Wraparound services and supports are usually paid for through flexible, noncategorical funding, the Wraparound team can often provide additional supports for the child that are implemented during the school day to aid teachers and other school staff. Elements of Wraparound * Community-based. * Individualized and strengths-based. * Culturally competent. * Families involved as full and active partners in every level of the Wraparound process. * Team-driven process, involving the family, child, natural supports, agencies, and community services. * Flexible funding and creative approaches. * A balance of formal services and informal community and family resources. * Unconditional commitment. * A service/support plan developed and implemented based on an interagency, community-neighborhood collaborative process. * Determined and measured outcomes. School-Based Wraparound in LaGrange, Illinois Since the LaGrange Area Department of Special Education began applying the Wraparound process, the number of self-contained K-8 classes for children with emotional and behavioral disorders has dropped from eight to zero as students with emotional and behavioral disorders, their families, and their teachers now receive comprehensive supports and services in a variety of settings. Although an option for self-contained classrooms is available, these programs have evolved into classrooms that serve multi-needs children such as those with autism, pervasive developmental delay, and multiple disabilities. Children who traditionally had been placed in self-contained emotional and behavioral disorders classrooms are now served through the Wraparound approach in their home schools with Wraparound teams, family service facilitators, and team teachers.

Chapter 5: Creating and Implementing a Comprehensive Plan This chapter describes how to implement the comprehensive three-level model of prevention using a team approach. This chapter begins by outlining the role of teams and how to build an effective team to address important school issues. The chapter later provides information on the logistics of planning and implementation. The Role of the Schoolwide Team in Creating Safe Schools The Schoolwide Team, described in Chapter 1, assesses the school, including the academic and behavioral programs and school climate, to set short-term and longterm goals that will improve the quality of the educational experience for all students and the safety of the school. The team establishes general policies and procedures and selects programs to be implemented throughout the school. In addition, the Schoolwide Team coordinates these strategies. Because the Schoolwide Team shares some members with the Student Support Team, they exchange information that will help the Schoolwide Team make more informed decisions about the school and the safety needs of the students. The Schoolwide Team undertakes activities to plan, implement, monitor, and maintain the school's violence prevention program. At the same time, the Schoolwide Team proposes policies and procedures that do the following: * Link to all school improvement efforts. * Align school efforts with community efforts and services. * Gain understanding and support from all members of the school community: students, teachers, staff, administrators, school board members, families, and other community members. * Include all three levels of prevention: a schoolwide foundation, early intervention, and intensive interventions. * Reflect an understanding of how to use early warning signs appropriately. * Include an efficient process for referral, problem-solving, consultation, and intervention (Student Support Team). * Employ effective evidence-based interventions that align with the school's structure, culture, needs, and resources. * Align with special education requirements and all other schoolwide efforts, such as extra-curricular activities and services for English language learners. Organizing the Schoolwide Team Because the Schoolwide Team has the responsibility of planning, implementing, and evaluating an integrated schoolwide violence prevention effort, members of the team should have diverse and complementary skills. The selection of team members is critical to the team's effectiveness. Members should be chosen because of their leadership capabilities and expertise in learning and behavior. Team members should be willing and able to commit time and effort to the team, particularly during the initial implementation phase. Community Members and the Schoolwide Team Comprehensive planning recognizes the influence of the larger community on the functioning of schools. School leaders should identify these influences and

understand how they affect the school. Schools can enhance their violence prevention efforts by working with their community to address issues that directly influence both their community and school. Safe and effective schools develop procedures for assessing and working with the external community so that programs and interventions are sensitive to community needs. In this way, schools become true partners with community agencies and organizations. To ensure that the school considers community factors and to ensure ongoing coordination of prevention and intervention services, the following are some of the community leaders who should be involved in planning and implementation: * Attorneys, judges, and probation officers. * Business leaders. * Clergy and other representatives of the faith community. * College or university faculty. * Family agency and family resource center staff. * Interest group representatives and grassroots community organization members. * Law enforcement personnel. * Local advisory board members. * Local officials, including school board members and representatives from special commissions. * Mental health and child welfare personnel. * Parent group leaders, such as Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) officers, advocacy group leaders, and parents knowledgeable about troubling behavior. * Physicians and nurses. * Recreational, cultural, and arts organizations staff. * School public relations officers. * Violence prevention group representatives. * Youth workers and volunteers. * Other influential community members. Reaching Out to the Community School safety depends on the ability of the school to partner with the greater community. Once the Schoolwide Team has formulated a vision, developed team cohesion, and delineated roles and responsibilities, it should reach out to the greater community. The vehicle for this outreach can be a community-wide collaboration, coalition, or work group. Community outreach ensures the following: * Community support for school efforts.

* Coordination of school and community services. * Shared resources, reducing fragmentation. * Support for family-school collaboration. Building an Effective Schoolwide Team Whether the team is well-established or newly established, there is no assurance that its members will function effectively as a team. Indeed, one of the strengths of the Schoolwide Team should be its diversity in expertise, skills, and experiences. The common goal of developing safe schools should galvanize all parties to pool their resources and work collaboratively. Cohesiveness and a sense of shared purpose, primary characteristics of effective teams, can be enhanced through the following practices: * The team takes time at the onset to agree on a vision. * Individual members should commit to participate in all relevant team activities and training, leaving their personal agendas at the door. * The team selects a dedicated leader or facilitator. The leader or facilitator keeps the team focused on the task and productive, while ensuring that needs are addressed and interpersonal conflicts (if any) are resolved. * Each member of the team receives the necessary information and support so that he or she can participate on the team as an equal. * Team members should take turns taking notes, or the team should have a secretary. These notes should be circulated to the team members in a timely fashion. * One team member is responsible for liaison functions, which involves keeping the greater school and community informed and linking to other school and community teams. * The team develops a process for solving problems and making decisions. For example, the team should determine how it will make decisions--by consensus, majority, or some other clear and agreed-upon process. * Teams may strengthen their interpersonal relations through trust-building activities. There is a substantial knowledge base of ways that teams can build trust and work more effectively together. The Schoolwide Team at Kennedy Middle School Kennedy Middle School in Eugene, Oregon, has members skilled in positive behavior support representing all grade levels and subject matters, plus an active administrator on the Schoolwide Team. The team meets once a month to guide and monitor the schoolwide safety planning. Building a productive team takes time, and prior to reaching this goal the Schoolwide Team will move through several phases of team development. At times, team members may feel uncomfortable as the team experiences conflict and strives for resolution. Also, they may feel uneasy as they learn their roles and establish norms for communication and other routines. Over time, as members support each

other and accomplish objectives, trust and mutual respect will emerge. As additional individuals are included at various points, team dynamics and functioning may be affected. This is a normal part of team development and functioning and should not be a cause for alarm. However, too much turnover and turmoil can render the team inoperable; therefore, it is important that team membership remain fairly consistent and provide stability to the planning and implementation tasks. Logistics for the Schoolwide Team Once the team has been established or expanded and has reviewed its charge, it should then consider logistics. Critical logistical tasks include obtaining administrative support, securing a planning budget, designing a communication process, and scheduling meetings and setting timelines. Obtaining Approval and Buy-Ins The first order of business is to obtain district or school approval and buy-in for the Schoolwide Team vision. Approval enables the team to obtain resources to support its efforts and to secure modifications in policies and procedures. Buy-in secures the ongoing, active, and usually visible support of key administrators. Schools differ in the ways they develop and implement plans. Every member of the team should know in advance the administration's expectations for the team's work and any relevant restrictions or policy guidelines, such as reporting procedures and decision-making authority. If possible, the team should include someone who has the authority to approve procedures and allocate funds. If the team encounters resistance to one of its suggestions, it should document the need and demonstrate the connections between its concerns--such as improved academics or community support--and school safety. Getting Buy-In "Before we went any further with training and planning, we had a unanimous agreement that this was what the school wanted to do. We had to make sure we had a strong buy-in; there was no other way." Glen Carolton, school psychologist in South West School District, Ohio. Communities also differ in their understanding of the need for the team's work. Providing communities with information early will help them understand and support the need for a comprehensive prevention, intervention, and crisis response program. The team should determine the information needs of the community and tailor its communication strategy to address these needs. Securing a Planning Budget Resources and funding may be necessary for the work of the Schoolwide Team. School officials will need to know the anticipated costs. For example, will teaching staff require substitutes while they conduct team duties? The team may need to prepare a budget for the administration to approve. Examples of budgetary considerations include release time or compensation for team meetings, secretarial assistance, meeting space, support for family participation, and reimbursement for incidentals. Designing a Communication Process One of the team's responsibilities throughout the planning and implementation process is to communicate its findings to the larger school community. The team may elect to prepare a formal report or simply reorganize its findings with a

cover memorandum. In either case, a few suggestions follow: * Prepare an executive summary. The executive summary should identify team members, state the purpose of the team's work, provide a brief overview of the team's work to date, and list recommendations for next steps. A brief version of the team's executive summary can be distributed via newspapers or mailings, or on the school's Web site or bulletin board. * Consider face-to-face meetings. The team may decide to schedule face-to-face meetings with the school as a whole or with different stakeholder groups. The team should work with community representatives or a representative of the stakeholder group to identify potential questions and to prepare an agenda that maximizes the impact of each meeting. It is important to include the entire school and community in this knowledge-sharing. The team can invite community members and families to school meetings and consider having team members attend a variety of meetings with different groups, such as the PTA. * Solicit feedback. Throughout this dissemination process, the team should solicit feedback from individuals regarding the accuracy of the team's findings and the effectiveness of its communication efforts. The school and community at large must be informed of the team's goals and progress. Also, the team can solicit feedback from the individuals who will be involved in the next stages--developing and implementing the violence prevention and response plan. Executive Summary Template Use the following template to develop an executive summary regarding the work of the team. This report will be used to communicate the team's findings to the larger school community. Date: Team members: Objective/Purpose of work: Activities to date: Recommendations/Next steps: Scheduling Meetings and Setting Timelines The team should schedule meetings according to tasks. Most teams will begin by meeting weekly. After start-up, there are four major milestones. They are as follows: * Conducting the school assessment. * Developing the schoolwide violence prevention plan. * Designing the implementation approach for the plan. * Implementing and evaluating the plan. Achieving each of these milestones may require a different amount of time. It is important to note that it may take a full year to develop a plan and implementation strategy. It will take even longer to implement the plan completely and measure its effects. It is important to set realistic timelines and due dates

throughout the process. More Resources If at any time team members wish to study a topic in more depth, they should refer to the "Resources" section, which lists references, resources, and contacts related to the topics featured in this Action Guide. In addition, team members may wish to visit the Web site of the Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice ( The online resource includes this guide, and links to other sources of information, which may be useful in planning and implementation. Implementation Considerations for the Schoolwide Team Schools differ in the way they implement their comprehensive plans, but the following activities are important for all schools to make the most of their plan: * Make a long-term commitment. Most likely, it will take several years to have all components of the plan in full operation. The team should set a reasonable timeline for reaching its goals and objectives. * Obtain district approval. The team's goal is to obtain more than plan approval; it is to institutionalize change. This requires formal approval, which may require a vote by the school board. In addition, someone in a leadership role needs to champion the plan. This individual should ensure that there is sustained buy-in and support from the school community. * Provide sufficient training. All team members--including staff, students, families, and community members--should receive training. After the initial training, all team members should be provided with ongoing relevant training and support. Training assists the school in developing the capacity of staff, students, and families to intervene. Examples of training methods include the following: - In-service training for all faculty and staff. - Written manuals, pamphlets, or flip charts. - Practice responding to imminent warning signs of violence. * Seek parental approval and involvement. Families must be involved in implementing the plan. There should be open lines of communication throughout the process. * Seek support and involvement. The team should ensure that every member of the school accepts and adopts the violence prevention and response plan. This buy-in is essential if all members of the school are expected to feel comfortable sharing concerns about children who appear troubled. Too often, caring individuals remain silent because they have no way to express their concerns. * Secure resources. Teams will require human, information, and fiscal resources to implement their plans. The teams should consider the anticipated costs of activities. * Specify evaluation procedures. Evaluation is a critical component of the comprehensive school safety plan. It increases the effectiveness of management and administration of the plan. Evaluation data should be used when renewing the plan. When planning the evaluation component, the team should consider the following principles:

- There should be measurable goals, objectives, and benchmarks. - The assessment should be based on objective data. - Realistic timelines should be set, observed, and communicated to the larger community. - The team should be held responsible for regular (preferably quarterly) evaluation of the prevention and intervention plan. * Present the plan. The team may present the plan in various ways: events, town meetings, discussion groups, written products, and press releases. * The team may need to use multiple strategies to reach a large number of people. Each school will have a preferred strategy for presenting the plan. The team should keep the following general guidelines in mind: - Ensure that presentations are made available in the native languages of family members and the community. - Schedule events at a convenient time for family members and community members. - Provide logistical support (e.g., child care, transportation) to enable more people to participate. - Make the communication process ongoing, structured, and detailed to ensure longterm community support. Comprehensive Schoolwide Plan: An Example 1. Establish effective behavioral support team. 2. Design curriculum for teaching students to be caring self-managers. 3. Train staff. 4. Monitor behavior using a referral form. 5. Evaluate the program using a survey. 6. Adjust the program (e.g., create a method for addressing individual student needs). This is an abbreviated example of a comprehensive implementation plan developed by the Patterson Elementary and Family School in Oregon from 1996 to 1999. Other Considerations Despite prevention efforts, even the most effective schools will experience some form of crisis, whether it takes the form of violence, tornadoes, fires, or death of a student or a staff member. The immediate response to and long-term handling of the crises will affect the adjustment of students, school staff, and families. Schools that are best prepared will develop a multicomponent plan that addresses the physical and psychological well-being of students and school staff. With support from community agencies and the school system, the Schoolwide Team should design a crisis response plan. The plan should be shared with all members of the school. The components of the crisis response plan include:

* Specific procedures for internal and external communication. * Evacuation protocols to protect students and staff from harm. * A process for securing immediate external support from law enforcement officials and other relevant community agencies. * A process for dealing with long-term effects of the crisis.

Conclusion Although most schools are safe, they all can be safer. Improving school safety requires the strategic investment of time and dollars--scarce resources for which there are competing demands. Fortunately, schools that strategically coordinate schoolwide efforts are more likely to improve academic performance as well as reduce behavior problems. This Action Guide builds upon the Early Warning Guide. It provides a comprehensive model that can lead to safer schools. The model incorporates prevention, early intervention, and intensive interventions in a manner that will help schools improve long-term academic, behavioral, social, and emotional outcomes for all students and their families. The Action Guide identifies mechanisms for implementing the plan (the Schoolwide Team and the Student Support Team) and also describes the processes that these teams can employ to improve school safety. Finally, the guide provides information about technical assistance centers and evidence-based resources that schools can draw upon to develop a comprehensive plan that addresses the particular needs and builds upon the strengths of their school and their community.

Resources Online Resources The resources in this Action Guide were designed to provide schools and communities with links to useful information. These are just some examples of programs, organizations, and centers that have been identified by the Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice, an organization operating under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Education. While the Internet gives schools and communities an amazing opportunity to access information, at the same time the content of the Internet is difficult to control. It is therefore important to note that the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice do not endorse these Web sites, nor the programs listed here. School Safety-Related Sites Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice Hamilton Fish Institute for School and Community Violence National Association of School Psychologists

National Mental Health Association Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory National Resource Center for Safe Schools School Safety and Violence Prevention Student Support and Classroom Management Sites The Behavior Home Page Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders Prevention and Early Intervention: Collaboration and Practice Prevention Strategies That Work Wraparound Planning Federal Sites U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights Office of Special Education Programs Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Violence Prevention Center for Mental Health Services

National Institute of Mental Health U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Justice for Kids and Youth Homepage Organization Sites American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry American Academy of Pediatrics American Association of School Administrators American Counseling Association American Federation of Teachers American Psychiatric Association American Psychological Association American School Counselor Association Council of Administrators of Special Education Council of the Great City Schools Council for Exceptional Children National Association of Elementary School Principals National Association of School Nurses National Association of Secondary School Principals National Association of State Boards of Education National Education Association National Middle School Association National School Boards Association National School Public Relations Association Police Executive Research Forum School Social Work Association of America Family Information Sites The Beach Center on Families and Disability Boys Town USA Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health National Parent Network on Disabilities National PTA Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights (PACER) Center Project for Parents of Children with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders

Additional Resources The programs in this Action Guide are examples of many results-based programs that have been favorably reviewed by agencies or federally sponsored technical assistance centers. The programs cited here in the Action Guide were identified under a U.S. Department of Justice grant to the Hamilton Fish National Institute on School and Community Violence with assistance from the Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy. The programs were also identified under a U.S. Department of Education cooperative agreement with the Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice.

Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports 5262 University of Oregon Eugene, OR 97403-5262 Phone: (541) 346-3560 Fax: (541) 346-5689 E-mail: Web site: First Step to Success Published by Sopris West, Inc. 4093 Specialty Place Longmont, CO 80504 Phone: (800) 547-6747 Fax: (303) 651-2829 Created by the Institute on Violence and Destructive Behavior 1265 University of Oregon Eugene, OR 97403 Kennedy Middle School 2200 Bailey Hill Road Eugene, OR 97405 Phone: (541) 687-3241 Fax: (541) 686-2379 E-mail: Web site: Kids in Community Schools Martin Luther King Elementary School Westchester Jewish Community Services Kids in Community Schools Program 135 Locust Hill Yonkers, NY 10701 Phone: (914) 376-0723 Lafourche Parish School-Based Mental Health Program 110 Bowie Road Thibodaux, LA 70301 Phone: (504) 447-8181 Fax: (504) 446-1577 E-mail:

Lane School 1200 Highway 99 North P.O. Box 2680 Eugene, OR 97402 Phone: (541) 334-4796 Web site: Positive Adolescent Choices Training Center for Child and Adolescent Violence Prevention Wright State University, School of Professional Psychology 9 North Edwin C. Moses Blvd. Dayton, OH 45407 Phone: (937) 775-4300 Fax: (937) 775-4323 E-mail: The Positive Education Program's Day Treatment Programs Positive Education Program 3100 Euclid Avenue Cleveland, OH 44115 Phone: (216) 361-4400 Fax: (216) 361-8600 E-mail: Web site: Project ACHIEVE Institute for School Reform, Integrated Services, and Child Mental Health and Education Policy School Psychology Program The University of South Florida 4202 E Fowler Ave. Tampa, FL 33620-7750 Phone: (813) 974-3246 Fax: (813) 974-5814 Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA 16802 Phone: (814) 865-2618 E-mail: Publisher: Developmental Research and Programs Phone: (800) 736-2630 E-mail: Web site: Resolving Conflict Creatively Program RCCP National Center 40 Exchange Place, Suite 1111 New York, NY 10005 Phone: (212) 509-0022 Fax: (212) 509-1095 E-mail: Web site: School-Based Wraparound in LaGrange, Illinois LaGrange Area Department of Special Education 1301 West Cossitt Avenue LaGrange, IL 60525 Phone: (708) 354-5730 Fax: (708) 482-2665 Second Step Curriculum: A Violence Prevention Curriculum Committee for Children 2203 Airport Way South Suite 500 Seattle, WA 98134 Phone: (800) 634-4449 or (206) 343-1223 Fax: (206) 343-1445 Web site:

Index (Note:

Page numbers refer to printed and Adobe Acrobat versions only)

Academic Instruction, 3, 7, 12, 15, 29 Alternative Programs, 33 Case management, 35-36

Center for Mental Health Services, 50 Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, 13, 50, 53 Consultation, 10, 13, 19-23, 33, 35, 41 Crisis Response Planning, 47 Early Intervention, 1, 4, 6, 13, 17, 19-20, 22, 24, 26-28, 31, 36, 41, 48, 50 Early Warning Guide, 1, 7, 17-18, 48 Early Warning Signs, 2, 4, 6, 17-22, 31, 41 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), 19 Families, 1, 4, 6, 7, 10-13, 18-20, 22, 24, 31-33, 36, 38, 41, 46-48 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 21 First Step to Success, 26, 53 Gun-Free Schools Act, 19 Identification, 18-19, 24 Immediate Interventions, 13, 20 Imminent Warning Signs, 19-20 Individualized Mental Health Services, 35-36 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 6, 24-25, 32 Intensive Supports, 3, 31 Interventions Early intervention strategies, 27-28, 31 Immediate interventions, 13, 20 Intensive interventions, 3-5, 8, 31, 35, 38, 41, 48 Kennedy Middle School, 43, 53 Kids in Community Schools, 32, 53 Lafourche Parish School-Based Mental Health Program, 31, 54 Lane School, 34, 54 Laws Elementary and Secondary Education Act, 19 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 21 Gun-Free Schools Act, 19

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 6 Mental Health, 6, 31-33, 35, 49-50 Comprehensive School-Based Mental Health Programs, 31-32 Individualized Mental Health Services, 35 Multisystemic Therapy, 36-37 Parents (see families) Physical Environment, 2, 11, 14 Positive Adolescent Choices Training, 26, 54 Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), 13, 50, 53 Positive Behavior Support, 3, 7, 11 Positive Education Program (PEP), 34, 54 Prevention, 1-2, 4-5, 9, 13-14, 17, 26, 28, 31, 36, 41-42, 44-47, 50 Principals, 5 Problem Identification, 24 Problem-Solving, 3, 8, 22-23, 26, 34, 38, 41 Program Evaluation Criteria, 8 Project ACHIEVE, 13, 22, 54 Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies, 9, 55 PTA, 42, 45, 52 Referral Process, 20-21 Resolving Conflict Creatively Program, 9, 55 Safe Schools Characteristics, 2, 7, 12-14 Schoolwide Foundation, 3, 7-15 creating a safe physical environment, 14 schoolwide behavior systems, 11 staff support, 10 staff training, 10, 20 Schoolwide Team, 5-6, 11, 14, 20, 41-44, 46-48 Second Step Curriculum, 10, 55 Special Education and Related Services, 32

Staff Support, 10 Staff Training, 10, 20 Student Support Team, 5-6, 20-22, 24-25, 27 Systems of Care, 33, 35-36 Teachers, 1, 4-5, 9-13, 15, 17-20, 22, 25-27, 32, 36, 38-39, 41, 51 Teams Logistics, 41, 44 Organization, 33, 42 Roles, 35, 42-43 Schoolwide Team, 5-6, 11, 14, 20, 41-44, 46-48 Student Support Team, 5-6, 20-22, 24-25, 27 Three-Level Approach, 2-3 Timelines, 45-47 Treatment Foster Care, 37-38 Wraparound, 4, 36, 38-39, 50, 55

Contributors to the Action Guide Many individuals contributed to the development of the Action Guide. Some provided materials, others reviewed drafts, still others provided input through participation in focus groups or at workshops. The following list represents only a portion of those who contributed to the Action Guide. Howard Adelman University of Southern California Leigh Armistead Charlotte-Mecklandsburg Schools, North Carolina Sharon Adams-Taylor American Association of School Administrators Lisa Barrios Center for Disease Control and Prevention George Bear University of Delaware Renee Brimfield Montgomery County Schools, Maryland Fred Brown Elementary and Secondary School Principals Association

Stephanie Bryn Maternal and Child Health Bureau Health Resources and Services Administration Douglas Cheney University of Washington Gwendolyn Cooke National Association of Secondary School Principals Betty Fitzpatrick Jefferson County Public Schools, Colorado Jacquelyn Gentry American Psychological Association Brenda Greene National School Boards Association Charles Greenwood Juniper Gardens Children's Project Renelle Grubbs Kentucky Community Crisis Response Board Pat Gutherie Council of Administrators of Special Education Cheryl Haas American Counseling Association Gabriella Hayes National PTA Rob Horner University of Oregon Marjorie Hudson Connecticut Department of Public Health Karen Jacobs American Occupational Therapy Association Michael Kane American Institutes for Research Karen Kleinz National Public Relations Association Howard Knoff University of South Florida Judy K. Montgomery Council of Administrators for Special Education Ron Nelson University of Nebraska

Trina Osher Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health Cathy Paine Springfield Schools, Oregon Michael Rosenberg Johns Hopkins University Jeff Sprague University of Oregon Pam Stein Polk County Schools, Florida Peter Sheras University of Virginia Betty Stockton Jonesboro Public Schools, Arkansas Carlos Sundermann National Resources Center for Safe Schools George Sugai University of Oregon Betsy Thompson Jefferson County Public Schools, Colorado Teri Toothman Mountain State Parents Children & Adolescent Network Richard Verdugo National Education Association Hill Walker University of Oregon Eileen Weiner-Dwyer Montgomery County Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health Diana Wright California Department of Education Jon M. Yeakey National Resource Center for Safe Schools Project Staff and Administration The Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice Project Director: David Osher Principal Investigator: Kevin Dwyer Action Guide Task Leader: Stephanie Jackson Action Guide Writing Team: Kevin Dwyer, Matthew Green, Stephanie Jackson, Kimberly Kendziora, Fred Krieg, Brenda Mejia, Eric Mesmer, David Osher, Debra Pacchiano, Mary Quinn, Cynthia Warger

U.S. Department of Education Project Officer: Tom V. Hanley Task Officer: Sara Strizzi U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20202-0498 U.S. Department of Justice 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20530-0001